More than 30 million Americans who care for an aging parent can take advantage of free educational resources that can help them learn more about Medicare.1, 2 These resources, available in both English and Spanish, are the focus of a 30-second public service announcement that UnitedHealthcare and the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) distributed to television stations across the country earlier this month.
Among caregivers' many responsibilities is the important role of helping to manage a loved one's health care needs, including enrolling in Medicare and making changes to coverage.
"Caregivers spend an average of 20 hours every week providing care for their loved ones, and for many, this includes time spent trying to understand and navigate the Medicare system," said John Schall, CEO, Caregiver Action Network (formerly the National Family Caregivers Association). "We are proud to partner with UnitedHealthcare to raise awareness of free educational resources that can help ease the burden of caregiving by making Medicare easier to understand."
Through footage of parents and their children from a family's home movie in the 1960s, the 30-second PSA acknowledges that caregivers often feel a special sense of responsibility as they provide more support for aging parents. Available in English and Spanish, the PSA points caregivers to free online resources – CaregiverAction.org, MedicareMadeClear.com/Caregiver and SolucionesdeMedicare.com – where they can find information to help them learn more about their loved ones' health care coverage options.
"Caregivers are the unsung heroes of our health care system, providing hundreds of billions of dollars of uncompensated care every year. With this PSA, we can help caregivers feel more confident in their ability to find Medicare coverage that's a good fit for their mom or dad's needs," said Rhonda Randall, D.O., chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. "We're grateful to the Caregiver Action Network for collaborating with us to produce this PSA."
As the nation's leading family caregiver organization, CAN provides caregivers a variety of resources to help make the caregiving experience more successful. The CAN Story Project and the online Family Caregiver Forum offer family caregivers a platform to share their stories and read about other family caregiving experiences. CAN also provides peer-to-peer support through a unique and highly dedicated group of more than 100 volunteers, many of whom are current or former family caregivers, in more than 40 states.
Serving nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement is the largest business dedicated to meeting the health and well-being needs of seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries. The PSA is part of UnitedHealthcare's award-winning Medicare Made Clear™ initiative, which is designed to educate and empower consumers to make informed Medicare decisions.
Since the initiative launched in 2006, more than 16 million Medicare Made Clear™ educational guidebooks have been distributed to beneficiaries, caregivers and others who help beneficiaries with their Medicare decisions. More than 1 million people have visited MedicareMadeClear.com to access a variety of interactive tools such as quizzes, videos, blog posts, enrollment checklists and plan-comparison worksheets. Medicare Made Clear™ also engages with 30,000 followers on Twitter (@MedicareClear) and through Facebook.
Navigating Medicare can be especially challenging for Hispanics who do not speak English or who speak English as a second language. Medicare Made Clear's companion website, SolucionesdeMedicare.com, provides educational content and resources in Spanish to more than 11,000 users annually, helping Spanish-speaking beneficiaries and their caregivers understand their health care coverage options. The site also provides health and wellness information to help Hispanic older adults and other beneficiaries manage chronic conditions and enhance their quality of life.
About Caregiver Action Network
The Caregiver Action Network is the nation's leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 65 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with special needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers, from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer's disease. CAN (formerly the National Family Caregivers Association) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge. To learn more, visit www.caregiveraction.org.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.