KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Web Site Helps Caregivers Navigate Medicare

The Department of Health and Human Services has created a web site called "Ask Medicare" to help caregivers navigate the often confusing Medicare system. CNN reports on the experience of Kim Mickens, a caregiver who used the site to help her mother, who has Alzheimer's disease. "Medicare personnel helped her get some of the medical supplies she needed and also recommend a new Web site called Ask Medicare. Designed to give easy access to people taking care of elderly relatives, Ask Medicare provides information and links to services that are important to caregivers."

CNN reports that HHS says "at least 44 million Americans provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or elderly family member or friend. Of those family caregivers, 7 percent -- like Mickens -- provide 40 hours or more of care a week. The new Web site... is meant to be a navigational tool for caregivers -- for whom time is valuable -- that cuts through all the bureaucratic red tape. ... According to the Center on an Aging Society at Georgetown University, family caregivers provide approximately 80 percent of long-term care services in the United States" (Willingham, 8/3).

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