Press Release             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Akiko Takano
Communications Associate
212-204-6214

March 5, 2008

Independent Consumer Group Launches Free Interactive Resource to Help Older and Disabled Kentucky Residents Navigate Medicaree

Web-based Medicare Information Tool Offers Health Coverage Advice to Older and Disabled Kentucky Residents, Their Caregivers and Professionals

New York, NY -- Medicare Interactive Counselor (www.medicarerights.org/help.html), an online educational tool, now includes health information and resources specific to Kentucky. This web-based resource provides easy-to-understand answers to questions posed by the millions of older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare for health insurance. For the first time, older adults and people with disabilities across the state, as well as caregivers and professionals, can access expert, unbiased guidance that is tailored to residents of Kentucky at no charge.

Medicare Interactive Counselor is designed to help people with Medicare navigate the health coverage maze. A service of the Medicare Rights Center-a nonprofit organization that is the largest independent source of health care information and assistance in the United States for people with Medicare-Medicare Interactive Counselor draws from the experience and best practices of real-life counselors.

"Many older adults and people with disabilities have trouble getting the health care they need because it is difficult to find clear, meaningful answers to their health care questions," said Robert M. Hayes, president of the Medicare Rights Center. "Too often they end up forgoing care or paying thousands of dollars for services they could have received at low or no cost."

Geared toward savvy consumers, caregivers and professionals advocating on behalf of people with Medicare, Medicare Interactive Counselor weaves together national and state-specific information - now including Kentucky - on health care and options. From the basics of the various Medicare health and drug plan options to Kentucky-specific information on programs that help low-income people with the costs of their medicines, Medicare Interactive Counselor offers assistance on a wide range of questions. Users can learn how to choose a plan that best meets their needs, and what questions to ask before signing up. With case examples, frequently asked questions and topic-specific links to other relevant state resources, Medicare Interactive Counselor also serves as a valuable information portal for consumers and professionals alike.

"1-800-MEDICARE and Medicare.gov only provide information about federal benefits, and don't address the extra benefits offered by many states. With Medicare Interactive Counselor, older and disabled residents of Kentucky have access to state-specific information, such as about the state's drug assistance programs or rights to buy Medicare supplemental insurance," Mr. Hayes said.

Medicare Interactive Counselor is updated daily to keep current with the latest changes in Medicare.

Medicare Interactive Counselor is available at www.medicarerights.org/help.html.

Medicare Rights Center (MRC) is the largest independent source of health care information and assistance in the United States for people with Medicare. Founded in 1989, MRC helps older adults and people with disabilities get good, affordable health care.