NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Many seniors are facing high medical bills, but they could be facing a bigger problem with Medicare. A congressional investigation found that government websites aren’t giving adequate information to those who use Medicare.
The investigation found that these websites don’t give thorough information on costs or the quality of care. As a result, some people have a harder time learning about and understand Medicare benefits.
We spoke with one woman who helped a family member get Medicare, and another woman who is on Medicare. Both of them told 22News they think having more personal consultants available in addition to having a website would be a way to stop the confusion.
Lindley Wilson from Greenfield told 22News these consultants would be especially helpful, “for those who may have a little bit of difficulty with reading comprehension because I don’t have difficulty with reading comprehension, however I couldn’t even understand some of the stuff.”
“I think it’s much more, it’s much clearer because you can ask exactly what it is that you want,” says Laura Cranshaw of Northampton, who also believes personal assistance is key. “You don’t have to take a pre-designed question or a pre-designed answer [found online].”
The report found five websites that are run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have critical problems in giving information about hospitals, nursing homes, and physicians.
The report suggests that there’s a growing need for this information as the cost of health care goes up.