Last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees the Medicare program, released a draft version of the annual “Medicare & You” handbook that contained several glaring inaccuracies. In a significant advocacy success, Medicare Rights and our allies convinced CMS to correct these major errors and release a final 2019 handbook that was greatly improved.
This week, CMS released a draft for the 2020 handbook. We are relieved to see that this draft does not repeat last year’s mistakes.
Each year, the handbook is revised to provide people with up-to-date information about the Medicare program, their choices for obtaining coverage, and the benefits they can expect. The handbook is an official government publication that is distributed to millions of homes each year. Historically, the handbook has been widely accessed and trusted.
We will continue to assess the new handbook draft and identify inaccuracies, ambiguous language, or other issues that might interfere with beneficiary comprehension or use. In the meantime, we are pleased that we do not have to correct last year’s glaring inaccuracies and bias again but can build on the improved handbook. People with Medicare need accurate, unbiased information to help them make the Medicare choices that are right for their lives and circumstances.