Consumer-Friendly Design Makes Medicare Information More Accessible, Clearer for Seniors
Mar 08 2012
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, highlighted recent improvements to the Medicare Summary Notice (MSN), the statement that informs Medicare beneficiaries about their claims for Medicare services. The redesigned MSN is consumer-friendly and makes beneficiaries' Medicare information clearer, easier to understand and more accessible. Not only will this new simplified format help consumers understand what services they are receiving from Medicare and how much those services cost, it also encourages beneficiaries and caregivers to identify and report billing errors and other mistakes, as well as potential fraud to 1-800-MEDICARE. THE MSN will be available online beginning Saturday, March 10th, 2012, and beginning in 2013, will also be mailed out quarterly. This redesign is a key part of CMS' new initiative, "Your Medicare Information: Clearer, Simpler, At Your Fingertips."
"This redesigned statement is an important step towards making Medicare information more accessible and easier to understand for Delaware's seniors and caregivers," said Sen. Carper. "Instead of receiving a statement written in medical jargon, seniors will now be able to read their statements in plain English so they can understand important Medicare information like the amount of their deductible, and whether their claims have been approved by Medicare. The new statement format also empowers seniors to help fight fraud when it comes to their health care," said Sen. Carper. "I encourage the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to keep up the good work and continue to help implement common-sense measures that raise awareness and understanding among all seniors about how to protect themselves from the economic and health-related consequences of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, error and abuse. By engaging seniors to fight fraud at home, we can claim small victories in the big battle to control health care costs in our country."
The redesign of the MSN includes several new features:
- Clear notice and information on how to check the form for important facts and report potential fraud;
- An easy-to-understand snapshot of the beneficiary's deductible status, a list of providers they saw, and whether their claims for Medicare services were approved;
- Clearer language, including consumer-friendly descriptions for medical procedures;
- Definitions of all terms used in the form;
- Larger fonts throughout to make it easier to read; and
- Information on preventive services available to Medicare beneficiaries.
Starting later this week, the redesigned MSN will be available to beneficiaries on mymedicare.gov, Medicare's secure online service for personalized information regarding Medicare benefits and services; and, in early 2013, paper copies of the redesigned MSN will start to replace the current version being mailed.
To see a side-by-side comparison of the former and redesigned MSNs, please visit: http://www.cms.gov/apps/files/msn_changes.pdf