For family members and caregivers of those requiring specialized, long-term medical care, such as seniors or the disabled, navigating the nation’s complex health care system can be daunting. In order to help patients and caregivers more clearly understand available Medicare and Medicaid benefits, the Department of Health and Human Services has pledged $68 million for that purpose.

“We know how difficult it can be for individuals and caregivers to deal with a sudden illness or chronic disease while, at the same time, trying to navigate through a complex health care system to figure out where to go to get appropriate help,” says Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Understanding the benefits and options available is of particular importance to elderly patients. Seniors, and particularly female seniors, become more likely to require health care assistance with each passing year.