Feature Archive

Making the Right Medicare Decision

Older Americans are facing a Medicare health care system featuring more options -- and more uncertainty....

By John Cutter
WebMD Feature Older Americans are facing a Medicare health care system featuring more options -- and more uncertainty -- than at any time since Congress enacted the program in 1965, say advocates for seniors.

Where there used to be only one choice in Medicare, seniors now face a myriad of alternatives, from the original fee-for-service plan to a variety of managed health care options. The U.S. Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) recently completed a mass mailing of "Medicare and You 2000," a handbook intended to outline the various choices.

Senior advocates say it is important that seniors select the right Medicare option -- especially older, more infirm seniors, who have the most health care needs. A wrong choice could mean higher out-of-pocket expenses and more difficulty gaining access to specialists within managed care plans.

A Reason to Be Cautious

Is the new "Medicare and You 2000" handbook enough to help seniors make the right choice?

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