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Medicare Officials Spread Word About New Website

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/medicareof_5032.mp3

With the baby boomer generation inching closer to retirement age, experts predict that over the next ten years, the need for Medicare services will skyrocket. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore spoke with a Medicare staff member who’s trying to get the word out about new resources aimed at making the transition to Medicare easier, for both the beneficiaries and their caregivers.

Medicare is the nation’s largest health insurance program. It’s for people ages 65 and older who have contributed to the Social Security or Railroad Retirement system, as well as people under 65 who have received Social Security disability benefits for at least two years, and people with permanent kidney failure.

There are approximately 43,000 people with Medicare living in Greene County alone.

With baby boomers getting older, that means more Americans will soon need Medicare, and that more loved ones are about to navigate their way through the paperwork and the various options involved. For first-timers, it can be intimidating.

Julie Brookhart is from the Kansas City office for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She’s trying to spread the word about a website designed to help answer questions which new caregivers might have.

“Caregivers use the internet. It’s in their generation. They’re an easier population to access with Medicare information, so we launched ‘Ask Medicare,’” she said.

The main component of the “Ask Medicare” campaign is the Caregivers website. The address is: www.medicare.gov/caregivers. There, a person who knows nothing about Medicare can learn a lot, including who is eligible, and what legal access you need before you can begin overseeing a loved one’s Medicare account.

Brookhart says the “Ask Medicare” website also has links to other organizations on aging, and provides a range of services.

One of those, she says, is a tool which allows a person to compare nursing homes across the nation, and see which nursing homes are in compliance with federal regulations.

You can also sign up for an e-newsletter through the site.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore. LINKS:

"Ask Medicare" (Caregivers Website)