May 3, 2022
Medicare, the U.S. government health insurance program, covers more than 63 million people, with more than 49 million people also receiving prescription drug coverage. It provides health insurance for adults over 65 as well as people with some medical conditions or disabilities. The system has many moving parts, and beneficiaries need to understand it to derive the most benefit, know what it covers and does not cover, and what costs they will be responsible for. An important time is the initial enrollment period, when people need to decide what kind of plan they want to select, either “original” Medicare through the government or a Medicare Advantage plan with a private insurer. Receiving prescription drug coverage is another decision, one that is particularly important to someone with Parkinson’s disease. Fortunately, there are several resources to help people sort out all the options, and once enrolled, the year-to-year coverage decisions are much less burdensome. In this episode, Jane Sung, JD, a senior strategic policy advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute, explains some of the intricacies of the Medicare system and helps to sort out the kinds of decisions people need to make about Medicare coverage.