Navigating the Medicare Maze Recap

This event provided an overview of the complex maze of Medicare and Medicaid, the two main health care funding mechanisms for older adults. Presenter Laura Garcia, Assistant Director of the Chicago Senior Health Insurance Program Office through the Illinois Department of Insurance, educated attendees on current Medicare and Medicaid coverage and shared resources for helping understand the programs.

The ABCs of Medicare Many Chicago Bridge members work with aspects of Medicare every day, but have not been formally trained in the program’s details. Garcia’s explanations of Medicare’s parts cleared up many questions held by the attendees.  The questions asked were as diverse as the audience, which included lawyers, students, nursing home and hospital employees, and community-based service providers and advocates. Medicare Changes and Controversies A large portion of the event was spent discussing upcoming Medicare changes associated with health care reform. This included discussion about controversies surrounding Medicare. Attendees engaged in an informative discussion about their experience with the rising rate of fraud and abuse and issues arising for beneficiaries admitted to a hospital under observation status. Senior Health Insurance Program Garcia also spoke about Illinois’ efforts to recruit additional volunteer counselors for the Senior Health Insurance Program (http://www.insurance.illinois.gov/ship/). This important program is the main mechanism for providing information and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries in the state. SHIP volunteers help beneficiaries understand the parts of Medicare, select the right Medicare supplement or Part D plan for their needs, and secure additional assistance through special programs like Illinois Cares Rx. For more information, visit www.illinoisbenefits.org/. This article was edited by Arlene Wanetick. Thank you golbenge (골뱅이)’s photostream for providing this wonderful picture.

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