Press Release             

Contact: Kat Fitzpatrick
Education Associate

December 20, 2011

New Toolkit Helps Baby Boomers Transition to Medicare Coverage
-- Cuts Through the Confusion Over Coverage Options--

New York, NY– The Medicare Rights Center and AgeOptions announce the release of “How Medicare Works With Employer-Based Insurance: A Guide for Employers, Professionals and Consumers,” a toolkit of educational materials designed to help older adults navigate the transition from employer-based health insurance to Medicare. The toolkit’s release comes at a time when the first baby boomers are aging into Medicare, many of whom are expected to keep working past the age of 65.

“We’ve seen a surge of calls on our helpline from older adults who can’t get a straight answer about how their employer insurance coordinates with Medicare,” said Doug Goggin-Callahan, Director of Education at the Medicare Rights Center. “The toolkit will not only help the older adults who are turning 65 today, but will also help us prepare for tomorrow, as people continue to retire later and the insurance landscape continues to transform as a result of the Affordable Care Act.”

“The guide will be especially helpful for professionals such as employment benefit counselors, health care providers, human resource specialists and social service agency staff who serve people with Medicare or who are becoming eligible for Medicare,” said Terri Gendel, director of benefits and advocacy at AgeOptions. “They can use the different documents to learn the rules, refresh their understanding, create presentations for consumers and share specific handouts with the people they counsel.”

The toolkit aims to clearly explain how Medicare coordinates with different kinds of employer-based health insurance, including current employer coverage, retiree or union coverage, and COBRA. Useful for both consumers and professionals, it contains PowerPoint trainings, frequently asked questions, common scenarios, a glossary of terms and more.

AgeOptions (on behalf of the Make Medicare Work Coalition) and Medicare Rights Center have partnered on this project in order to pool their resources and reach a broader audience than either organization could reach alone. The project was made possible by funding from the Retirement Research Foundation.

“How Medicare Works With Employer-Based Insurance: A Guide for Employers, Professionals and Consumers” is available by clicking here.

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

AgeOptions, the Area Agency on Aging of suburban Cook County, Illinois, connects adults age 60 and over with resources and service options so they can live their lives to the fullest and remain in their homes as long as possible. AgeOptions also co-leads the Make Medicare Work Coalition, a statewide coalition to provide older adults and people with disabilities with education, counseling and advocacy on state and federal health care and prescription drug programs.

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