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Understanding Medicare Programs

A program that helps beneficiaries better understand how Medicare works is expanding to additional states. And the program’s founders could use your help.

It’s no secret that Medicare is a difficult system to understand, in fact, I blogged about that very fact just a few days ago. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life for our nation’s seniors. As a result, Medicare is something we have to work to understand. For many of us, though, there is at least one more resource available to many of us, according to a recent article by SmartMoney.

The problem with so many Medicare informational resources is that you have to read through tomes of legalese, sift through graphs and charts, and, in the end, you still haven’t figured out the answer to your question. Good news: A new program called “Seniors Out Speaking,” or SOS, is a peer-advice program through which volunteer seniors teach other senior about Medicare. It’s a program of the Medicare Rights Center, and it’s currently operating (or starting up) in New York, Kansas, Maryland and New Jersey, Alabama, Florida, Maine and Wisconsin.

Although SOS currently doesn’t exist everywhere, the Center hopes to expand its support. The Center believes the program can be easily replicated in communities across the country. As a result, a generation hitting retirement all at once will be able to help each other through it. Think baby boomers.

If SOS exists in your area, it might be worth looking into as a listener or as a teacher. There also may be similar programs in your community. On the other hand, you may want to start a program in your own community.

More information on Medicare itself can be found on the Medicare Rights Center website. Also, it might be worth looking into your local community events calendar to see if there are any seminars or programs in your area.

Reference: SmartMoney (August 29, 2011) “Medicare, Now Less Complicated

 

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