Persistent Challenges for People with Medicare Identified by
Nation’s Largest Medicare Consumer Organization
–Medicare Rights Center Report Highlights National Helpline Trends and
Provides Policy Solutions –
New York, NY—Today, the Medicare Rights Center released its annual helpline trends report, which outlines persistent challenges facing people with Medicare heard through thousands of calls to its national consumer helpline.
“This analysis of our national helpline data makes clear that too many people with Medicare struggle to navigate the complexities of the Medicare program and to afford their coverage. But there are straight-forward solutions for alleviating these challenges and strengthening the Medicare program as a whole,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities. “As in previous years, it’s important that the feedback from people with Medicare is heard and their health care experiences are translated into concrete solutions to improve the Medicare program.”
The report, Medicare Trends and Recommendations: An Analysis of 2015 Call Data from the Medicare Rights Center’s National Helpline, highlights the leading issues heard on Medicare Rights’ helpline. Each issue is demonstrated through consumer stories and accompanied by policy solutions, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), state agencies, insurers, elected officials, and others can pursue to improve the Medicare program for the more than 55 million people it serves.
Out of more than 16,000 questions posed by older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers in 2015, a variety of trends stood out among the questions from helpline callers, including:
At the same time, Medicare Rights continues to receive calls from people with Part D who are unable to afford the cost of their medications during all phases of their Part D coverage. Many callers are unclear as to why prescription drug prices remain costly, and why they cost different amounts across plans. Many callers say that they cannot afford their medications but do not qualify for Extra Help, the federal program that lowers the cost of Part D medications.
Drawing directly from Medicare Rights’ more than 25 years of experience serving people with Medicare and their families, the report includes a comprehensive set of policy recommendations that address the issues heard on the helpline and to improve access to affordable health care for all people with Medicare.
“The problems heard on the Medicare Rights helpline show the need for practical policy solutions to address some of the challenges faced by people with Medicare,” said Baker. “Members of Congress and the Administration should view this report as a continuing call to action. In today’s health care climate, now is the time to seek solutions that make Medicare an even stronger, simpler, and more affordable benefit.”
To contact Medicare Rights’ national helpline, call 800-333-4114. For more information about Medicare, visit www.medicareinteractive.org.
Press Contact: Mitchell Clark – firstname.lastname@example.org – 212-204-6286