Translated handbooks are available to order from Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that the “Medicare & You” handbook is now available in Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. The handbook is being released as part of this year’s Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which kicked off on October 15, 2021, and ends on December 7, 2021, and provides essential information on enrollment, program benefits, coverage options, and rights. Asian Americans currently represent the fourth largest demographic enrolled in Medicare. Today’s action will provide many of these consumers – along with many who have not yet enrolled – crucial assistance in their preferred languages.
“Expanding the development of culturally appropriate, understandable materials in multiple languages is an important step toward health equity,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Offering the ‘Medicare & You’ handbook in more languages helps people with Medicare to better understand how to navigate Medicare programs, access the benefits and care they need, and be able to guard against misinformation, fraud, and scams.”
During Medicare Open Enrollment people eligible for Medicare can compare 2022 coverage options among Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Part D prescription drug plans. Medicare health and drug plan costs and covered benefits can change from year to year, so Medicare beneficiaries should review their coverage options each year and decide on the best plans that meets their needs.
When comparing and selecting coverage, people should consider if their doctors are still in-network and if their prescriptions are still part of their prescription drug plan. Additionally, the plan with the lowest monthly premium may not always be the best fit for someone’s health needs. People with Medicare should consider plan deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs that factor into total health care costs. Some plans also offer extra benefits, like vision, hearing, or dental coverage, which could help meet health care needs.
“Ensuring access to culturally and linguistically appropriate health care is vital to achieving health equity,” said Krystal Ka‘ai, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI). “I commend CMS for translating its Medicare handbook and resources into multiple languages, which will make health care more accessible for the nearly one-third of Asian Americans who are limited English proficient.”
The translated handbooks are now available to download at Medicare.gov or to order from 1-800-MEDICARE for free. CMS also publishes several other documents in 23 languages, including Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, available at https://www.medicare.gov/about-us/information-in-other-languages. These documents focus on specific topics and provide detailed information about popular subjects like Medicare basics, preventive services, supplemental insurance, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Summary Notices, COVID-19 vaccine coverage, and more. Live assistance is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except some federal holidays), both via Live Chat on Medicare.gov and by phone at 1-800-MEDICARE, which offers language interpreter services.