4 Consumer Information and Advocacy Organizations for Medicare

Part of the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The nonprofit organizations listed below are leading sources of information on Medicare and act as advocates on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries within Congress and state legislatures. They want to hear about people's first-hand experiences with Medicare (including Part D), and they welcome volunteers to help their efforts.

  • AARP uses the power of its membership (nearly 40 million members in 2008) to promote the interests of people age 50 and over. These interests include improving Medicare and Part D, preserving Social Security, and promoting legislation to achieve health insurance access for all Americans.

    A nonpartisan organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C., AARP has offices in every state (plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and advocates in Congress and all state legislatures. Through the AARP Foundation, attorneys litigate court cases of special importance to older Americans. Among other publications, its news magazine Segunda Juventud is for Spanish-speaking members.

  • The Center for Medicare Advocacy promotes the interests of people on Medicare nationally and is staffed by policy experts, attorneys, researchers, and information specialists. Based in Connecticut, with an office in Washington, D.C., the nonpartisan center advocates to improve Medicare services and other healthcare rights, litigates court cases, and publishes policy documents and consumer information.

    It invites consumers to send in questions to its website (above) and responds to about 7,000 telephone and e-mail inquiries each year. Phone 860-456-7790 (Connecticut) or 202-293-5760 (Washington).

  • California Healthcare Advocates is the leading consumer watchdog organization for Californians on Medicare. Based in Sacramento, with offices in Los Angeles, Oakland, and Santa Ana, CHA conducts public policy research and community outreach; promotes recommendations for improving Medicare services and rights at the federal and state level; and provides up-to-date consumer information on its website, including the publication California Medicare News.

  • Families USA is a grassroots, nonpartisan organization that promotes quality healthcare for all Americans from the consumer perspective. Based in Washington, D.C., it serves as a consumer watchdog on government actions related to health coverage, including Medicare and Part D. It also provides updates on developments in the pharmaceutical industry and regularly publishes surveys of drug prices.

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Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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