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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.
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.
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