Sacramento, CA — With Medicare’s fall enrollment period just around the corner, California Health Advocates (CHA) now has new online tools to help both English and Spanish-speaking beneficiaries and their families review Medicare coverage and their options for 2009. If they decide to switch health care plans, most people may do so between November 15th and December 31st.
One tool is CHA’s Medicare podcasts. The first two of several to come are available in English and Spanish atcahealthadvocates.org/podcast. They cover:
- An overview of Medicare, including
- What Medicare is and its four parts (Medicare Parts A-D)
- Programs for people with low-income; and
- Where to get help with Medicare questions; and
- An overview of Medicare’s Annual Election Period (November 15 – December 31), a time when beneficiaries can enroll into, disenroll from, or switch Medicare Advantage plans or Part D prescription drug plans. This podcast offers helpful tips on what to consider when making a change in one’s Medicare coverage.
“Making sure beneficiaries understand their Medicare coverage and their rights to switch health plans at this time of year is key for them to get the most out of their health care. Knowing what to consider in choosing a health and/or drug plan helps beneficiaries navigate their choices,” said David Lipschutz, CHA Staff Attorney. “With California’s large Spanish-speaking beneficiary population (over 9 million Spanish-speaking California residents across all age groups), these audio podcasts offer an easy way to learn about Medicare and some key rights regarding choosing a health plan or drug plan that is best for them.” All Medicare beneficiaries, those older than 65 and those younger than 65 with a disability, can benefit from listening to these brief recordings. Family members caring for their elder parents may also listen to the recordings and relay the information to their parents, discuss the available options and make an informed decision.
In addition to the podcasts, CHA also launched its blog as another current Medicare news source. Blog entries offer a more informal way to share concise, easy-to-read, and important information. “Creating this blog reflects our commitment to get current, helpful information out as quickly and as accessibly as possible,” said Wayne Soucy, CHA President/CEO. CHA’s blog, along with our new podcasts, Medicare fact sheets, news articles and health plan comparison charts for 2009 are all easily found on our website at cahealthadvocates.org.
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California Health Advocates is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to public policy, education and advocacy efforts on behalf of California’s 4.2 million Medicare beneficiaries. CHA provides education, training and up to date information to community organizations and government agencies, and to the 24 local Health Insurance and Counseling Programs (HICAP), which provide benefits counseling and community education directly to those with Medicare and their families. For more information, visit CHA’s website at cahealthadvocates.org.
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Elaine Wong Eakins, Project Manager
David Lipschutz, Staff Attorney