Today, the Medicare Rights Center released its annual helpline trends report, which outlines the top ongoing challenges facing people with Medicare. The report’s findings are based on thousands of calls to the Medicare Rights’ national consumer helpline and millions of visits to Medicare Interactive, the online Medicare reference tool developed by Medicare Rights.
“Year after year, our findings from the analysis of our national helpline data show that too many older adults and people with disabilities have problems navigating the complexities of the Medicare program and affording 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. “It’s time that the real-life experiences of people with Medicare who are trying to access needed health care are taken into account and acted on to improve the Medicare program.”
The report, Medicare Trends and Recommendations: An Analysis of 2017 Call Data from the Medicare Rights Center’s National Helpline, examines the top three issues heard on Medicare Rights’ helpline and the most commonly searched for answers on Medicare Interactive. Each issue is demonstrated through stories heard on the helpline, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), state agencies, insurers, elected officials, and other stakeholders can use as a basis to strengthen the Medicare program for the 60 million people it serves.
Out of more than 15,000 questions asked by older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers in 2017, and millions of visits to Medicare Interactive, a variety of trends highlighted in the past annual trends reports continue to stand out:
- navigating Medicare Part B enrollment;
- appealing Medicare Advantage denials of care; and
- affording prescription drug coverage.
“The problems heard each year 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. With 10,000 people turning 65 every day, there is no time to wait to make Medicare easier to navigate and more affordable, so that it is an even stronger benefit.”
To contact Medicare Rights’ national helpline, call 800-333-4114. For more information about Medicare, visit www.medicareinteractive.org.