Third Annual National Medicare Education Week Offers Help Before Open Enrollment Period
- Educational events and online resources to help baby boomers, Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers learn more about Medicare
The third annual National Medicare Education Week begins Monday, Sept. 15, exactly one month before the start of Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 15-Dec. 7). The observance was created to help people learn more about Medicare.
Since National Medicare Education Week began in 2012, thousands of people have participated in educational events during the week in more than 60 cities across the country. This year, National Medicare Education Week events will be held for the first time in Boston, Salt Lake City and Richmond, Virginia; a full list of cities and events can be found at NMEW.com.
UnitedHealthcare, the largest business dedicated to the health and well-being needs of seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries, created National Medicare Education Week as an extension of its Medicare Made Clear initiative. The company celebrates the annual observance with the support of a variety of organizations and companies that share its commitment to helping seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries understand their health care coverage options.
Supporters of National Medicare Education Week include AARP, Ameriprise Financial, the Caregiver Action Network (CAN), the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), Safeway, Target, Walgreens, Walmart and Sam’s Club, as well as health care providers, senior centers and other organizations in communities across the country.
“Health care decisions can have a significant impact on the well-being – and wallets – of seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries,” said Steve Nelson of UnitedHealthcare. “Medicare is not one size fits all, and finding coverage that meets each person’s unique needs requires thoughtful planning. We hope that National Medicare Education Week will motivate people to learn more about Medicare so they can feel better prepared to make confident coverage decisions during the Open Enrollment Period.”
According to the Medicare Made Clear Index, a 2013 survey conducted by UnitedHealthcare, 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries describes Medicare as confusing, and most are unable to correctly identify the health care expenses that Medicare Parts A, B, C and D cover. Baby boomers ages 60 to 64 who are approaching Medicare eligibility also reported low confidence in their Medicare knowledge, with 70 percent saying they have a “fair” or “poor” understanding of the program. Many were also unaware of important details about how and when to enroll in Medicare.
Education Opportunities in Local Communities and Online
During National Medicare Education Week, UnitedHealthcare will host dozens of Medicare education events in more than 15 cities. The company is expanding the number of Spanish-language events this year to better meet the needs of Hispanic beneficiaries and their caregivers. The company will host events in both English and Spanish in Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego.
At the events, local UnitedHealthcare representatives will present information and answer some of the most common Medicare questions. Among the topics that will be covered are:
- The different types of Medicare coverage and how to determine what coverage is right for you;
- How and when to enroll in Medicare, including tips for people who choose to continue working and delay enrolling in Medicare past age 65;
- The impact of health reform on Medicare; and
- Where to go for more information.
The information presented at the community meetings is also available online at NMEW.com and in Spanish at solucionesdemedicare.com so that people nationwide can participate.
In collaboration with the Caregiver Action Network, a National Medicare Education Week supporter, UnitedHealthcare will make a customized version of the event presentation available on CaregiverAction.org. The presentation is designed to address the unique needs of family caregivers who help their loved ones navigate their Medicare enrollment decisions.
For more information about National Medicare Education Week, visit NMEW.com.
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 more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves more than 45 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.