Medicare Aims to Improve User Experience

Friday, September 7th, 2012
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

Medicare user

Two new initiatives designed to help Medicare beneficiaries better understand their benefits are now available.

CMS has redesigned its Medicare Web site, Medicare.gov, in an attempt to simplify the language and home page layout and make the content more accessible and quicker to navigate for Medicare beneficiaries, families and caregivers.

Users can now do the following directly from the home page:

  • Search for whether a specific test, item, or service is covered under original Medicare;
  • Get customized information based on a beneficiary’s specific situation;
  • Get quick links to replace a lost Medicare card, find a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan, and get help with healthcare costs.

And HHS has partnered with five major pharmacies to make educational materials on Medicare benefits more widely available, including information on newly available preventive services, and savings on prescription drug spending in the “donut hole” coverage gap.

Some examples of how the pharmacy partners, which include CVS Caremark, Walgreens, Thrifty White, Walmart, and Sam’s Club, will work together to increase awareness include the following:

  • CVS Caremark will distribute material to beneficiaries at its more than 7,300 CVS/pharmacy stores and 600 MinuteClinic locations, through brochures, register receipt messages and online;
  • Thrifty White pharmacy will provide information through its 85 locations throughout the midwest;
  • Walgreens will distribute information in nearly 8,000 pharmacies and over 350 Take Care Clinic locations, as well as use in-store announcements;
  • HHS will also work with Walmart and Sam’s Club to provide healthcare information to their shoppers online.

Other pharmacies or partners can find information on how to work with CMS to educate consumers about the benefits available to them, while interested users can visit the new Medicare benefits site.

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