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Medicare beneficiaries uninformed

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It appears the Obama administration is failing to get the word out to seniors about the beneficiary changes coming their way as a result of the Affordable Care Act. According to a survey commissioned by the Medicare Today coalition, only a one in five respondents were aware of the coming 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs for beneficiaries falling into the so-called donut hole.

Also revealed by the survey is the fact that most seniors approve of the Medicare Part D program. Eighty-four percent of respondents report being satisfied with their coverage, and more than 80 percent say their premiums and co-payments were affordable. This comes despite some complaints about the program.

Medicare Today, the group that commissioned the survey, which was conducted by KRC Research, is a coalition of some 400-plus national and local organizations whose mandate is to educate seniors and those nearing retirement on the benefits of Medicare, including any changes being made or proposed to the program.

Medicare Today co-chair Mary R. Grealy admits the survey results show there is a lot of work to be done by both the public and private sectors in educating the Medicare beneficiary community regarding benefits. With next year’s changes to the program, her group and others like it will need to ramp up efforts to make sure seniors are informed.