Leading health insurance guide relaunches medicareresources.org to help Medicare eligibles 'get it right the first time'

ST LOUIS PARK, Minn., April 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While the comprehensive nature of Medicare offers reassurance to millions who are aging into the program, its complexity – from coverage options to enrollment requirements – is a well-known source of confusion and frustration. This month, the editors of medicareresources.org relaunched an improved, updated online guide designed to help Medicare eligibles – and the friends and family who assist them – navigate the system.

medicareresources.org is a companion site of healthinsurance.org, a leading source of information for consumers researching their individual health insurance options since the early 1990s. This newly relaunched site mirrors the features of healthinsurance.org while serving the rapidly swelling ranks of Medicare beneficiaries.

Transitioning from health insurance to Medicare

More than 55 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare this year, and it's estimated that by 2020, enrollment will reach 64.3 million. "There are so many moving parts to Medicare coverage and there's a huge need for beneficiaries to have it explained in plain English," says healthinsurance.org founder Charles Smith-Dewey.

The most compelling goal of the site, Smith-Dewey says, is to help Medicare-eligible populations "get it right the first time" by preparing 64-year-old consumers for the initial enrollment and plan-selection process.

"Assuming simply that enrollment is automatic when you turn 65 can be a huge mistake," he says. "We want to ensure our readers don't miss critical deadlines that will drive up their premiums or lock them into coverage that's not right for them."

Through its articles and the site's Frequently Asked Questions section, the site's editors will walk readers through the coverage provided by Original Medicare and the private insurance options that fill coverage gaps in "traditional Medicare." Articles will answer questions such as, "How does Medicare Advantage compare to Medigap?" and "What's the best way to get prescription drug coverage?"

Many readers will be surprised to learn that there are obvious differences in plan availability from state to state. Where you live does matter, and medicareresources.org includes a state-by-state guide to Medicare related resources. Those pages will be tied to healthinsurance.org's state guides to the Obamacare exchanges and to state-specific Medicaid guides.

Following the money: watching Congress

The Medicare site's Blog will deliver analysis from healthinsurance.org's nationally recognized roster of experts on critical policy issues. One obvious focus in the coming months: the political promises of Congressional and Presidential candidates and how those promises are likely to affect Medicare policy decisions.

"We'll offer perspective on the political battles ahead and filter the rhetoric through the lens of our policy analysts, but we'll also be giving our readers easy access to Congressional voting records on Medicare-related legislation so they can make informed votes in 2016," he says.

"We'll definitely have our ear to the ground and anticipating political talking points from candidates as they hit the trail," says Smith-Dewey. "But we'll also be closely watching what's happening with the insurance industry that's funneling contributions and affecting potential legislation."

medicareresources.org is the Medicare-focused companion to healthinsurance.org, a free online source of consumer health resources, including information about individual health insurance, major medical insurance and affordable medical insurance.

Media inquiries: Steve Anderson at sanderson@healthinsurance.org. (817) 991-9791.

CONTACT: Steve Anderson sanderson@healthinsurance.org (817) 991-9791