Press Release             

Contact: Nathan Heggem
Senior Communications and
Policy Associate

August 18, 2011

Consumer Group Releases Report on Peer-to-Peer Medicare Education Program
--Seniors Out Speaking Program Spreads Clear Medicare Information,
Engages Older Adults and Communities--

New York, NY – The Medicare Rights Center today released a report on its volunteer model called Seniors Out Speaking (SOS), which enlists older volunteers to lead brief, regularly scheduled Medicare presentations—called Medicare Minutes—for audiences of their peers. These presentations focus on topics such as Drug Coverage Under Medicare Parts B and D, Mental Health Coverage Under Medicare, Closure of the Doughnut Hole, and Programs That Help Pay Medicare Costs.

The report, Seniors Out Speaking: Peer-to-Peer “Medicare Minutes” for Older Adults Nationwide, highlights the civic engagement of SOS volunteers, the skill with which they present complex Medicare information in clear terms, and the replicability of the model.

“As the first baby boomers begin to turn 65, the need for clear, accurate Medicare information has never been greater,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center. “SOS empowers older adults to take charge of their health care and share Medicare information with their peers—a model that has already been successfully replicated in states across the country.”

SOS was developed in Westchester County, New York, in 2001, and has since been expanded to New York City, Kansas, Maryland and New Jersey. Through a project funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, the Medicare Rights Center is now establishing or expanding the SOS program in Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Maine and Wisconsin. Medicare Rights will also work in these states to launch or inform Medicare Advocacy Coalitions, bringing together consumers, advocacy organizations, policymakers and other stakeholders to help ensure that health reform is responsive to the needs of people with Medicare.

The report was made possible by funding from the Public Welfare Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropies.

Read the report at:

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.


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