The “Medicare & You” handbook for 2022 is now available and it reflects improvements Medicare Rights and many of our partner organizations have been urging for years. The handbook is an official government publication that is distributed to millions of homes each year to provide people with up-to-date information about the Medicare program, their choices for obtaining coverage, and the benefits they can expect.
Each year, Medicare Rights provides feedback on a draft of the handbook and suggests improvements, from tweaking the language to flagging content errors. This year, we urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to make the handbook available in languages in addition to English and Spanish; provide better information for how beneficiaries can access benefits and resources; increase accuracy about Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits; and make other, more minor edits.
This year’s version takes many of Medicare Rights’ suggestions into account, making the handbook a better tool for Medicare information and coverage decisions. For example, CMS reinstated the previously deleted “Help in Other Languages” section at the end and added a note in the introductory section telling people where to find that critical information. In a major win for language accessibility and equity, the handbook is now available in Chinese, with Korean and Vietnamese versions coming soon.
We thank CMS for making these improvements, and for the opportunity to weigh in. We look forward to assessing future drafts and working with the administration to identify inaccuracies, ambiguous language, or other issues that might interfere with beneficiary comprehension or use. People with Medicare need readable, accurate, and unbiased information to help them make the Medicare choices that are right for their lives and circumstances.