Medicare Resources

Find information and resources on Medicare.

Which policy is best for you?

1) Figure your direct costs by totaling the annual premium costs of the various plans you are considering. Include annual cost of a prescription drug plan if you are considering a Medigap plan.

2) Know what your medical needs are. Do you see physicians often? Do you have lab tests or x-rays often? Do you anticipate increasing medical needs? The frequency of your medical visits can help you evaluate co-payment costs that go with Medicare Advantage Plans.

3) Consider what your maximum out-of-pocket expenses could be for a normal health year, and also what could happen if you encountered a major illness. Remember: you are protected from catastrophic medical expenses by the maximum out-of- pocket limit specified in the policy.

4) Factor in your monthly out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

5) And remember, you can change this plan annually, guaranteed, regardless of any health problems.

Resources

Center for Medicare Advocacy

www.medicareadvocacy.org

860-456-7790

The Center for Medicare Advocacy provides practical and educational information for Medicare patients, including advocacy issues, legal assistance, coverage appeals, and policy news.

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Medicare.gov

www.medicare.gov

800-633-4227

The government’s official site for people with Medicare provides extensive information about the program, including coverage for prescription drugs, long-term care, and preventive services. A downloadable version of “Medicare & You 2009” is available as well as a separate site for caregivers, which offers information on Medicare basics, billing, finding support, stories from caregivers, and more.

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Medicare Rights Center

www.medicarerights.org

800-333-4114

The Medicare Rights Center provides information to help enrollees navigate Medicare Part D and understand their benefits. Patients can get additional assistance through the “Medicare Interactive” and “Medicare Answers” sections as well as an informative newsletter with Medicare updates.

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My Medicare Matters

www.mymedicarematters.org

202-479-1200 (NCOA main number)

My Medicare Matters, sponsored by the National Council on Aging and the Access to Benefits Coalition, offers information about choosing (or switching) Medicare plans, drugs covered, plan exceptions, and extensive information on assistance with drug costs.

Past Articles

> The Medicare Prognosis:The 44-year-old health insurance program faces a thorough examination.

> The Medicare Maze: A road map to navigate supplement policies.

> The Four Parts of Medicare: What you need to know.