May 4, 2012 (Menlo Park, CA) -- To help the nearly 50 million Medicare beneficiaries, families and caregivers make informed decisions about health coverage, and millions more learn about Medicare before they become eligible, Kaiser Family Foundation has updated its online consumer guide with key information about the Medicare program, the benefits it provides, and the choices available.
The updated guide provides answers to basic questions, including:
- When and how should someone enroll in Medicare?
- What benefits does Medicare provide, and what doesn’t Medicare cover?
- What factors should beneficiaries consider when choosing between original fee-for-service Medicare and a private Medicare Advantage plan? What should people on Medicare consider when comparing Medicare Advantage plans in their area?
- How should people on Medicare compare available Medicare Part D prescription drug plans?
- What do supplemental insurance policies, known as Medigap, cover?
- Is extra help available to low-income Medicare beneficiaries?
The guide reflects recent changes to Medicare, including major provisions of the 2010 health reform law. It also includes an updated resource list that provides state-specific contacts. It is available online at www.kff.org/talkingaboutmedicare.
Separately, the Foundation also has created an online Medicare Quiz that encourages people to learn more about the Medicare program, who it serves and how it is financed.