PRESS RELEASE

Making Medicare Work for You: Boomers, Welcome to Medicare

A Special Presentation as Part of RLTV’s Groundbreaking Initiative that Puts Boomers in Control of their Medicare

BALTIMORE – July 25, 2011 -- RLTV, the only cable network dedicated to serving the needs of Generation 50+, will air a special episode of Making Medicare Work for You: Boomers, Welcome to Medicare on July 28 at 9 p.m. EST.

The 10,000 boomers who will turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare every day for the next decade shouldn’t feel bad if they’re a bit confused. Signing up for Medicare means making choices, and for many, the process is complicated. Making Medicare Work for You: Boomers, Welcome to Medicare is designed to address the dizzying array of questions facing individuals who are newly eligible for Medicare.

As part of RLTV’s comprehensive series dedicated to taking the guesswork and anxiety out of Medicare, the episode guides viewers through the rules, deadlines and choices available to them as they prepare to enter the world of Medicare. Sponsored by UnitedHealthcare and hosted by Deborah Norville, a veteran journalist and anchor of Inside Edition, the program features a team of industry experts from all areas of the Medicare community who use their expertise to help explain Medicare and how it works.

In emotionally compelling field segments, Dr. Kevin Soden works with real people making real decisions, whether they’re struggling with the complexities or just need a little assurance. Back in the studio, experts provide invaluable insight and smart strategies that are as helpful for boomers aging in to Medicare as they are for other adults who may be enrolling for the first time, such as those with disabilities or individuals who have delayed retiring past the age of 65.

The program features a cross-section of Americans, each with different challenges and needs, including:

Bonnie—A successful realtor in Washington, D.C., Bonnie is 65 years old and recently became eligible for Medicare. She’s healthy, works out at a health club regularly, and doesn’t take medications. Lately, she’s been overwhelmed by the Medicare materials she’s received from various sources, and she’s unsure if she should sign up for a Medigap plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. Her biggest worry is finding a primary care physician who accepts her Medicare plan.

In Bonnie’s field segment, the in-studio team addresses her concerns:

  • What do you need to consider when comparing plans?
  • Do you need more coverage than what Original Medicare can provide?
  • If you don’t take prescription drugs, should you enroll in a Part D plan?
  • What type of Medicare plan meets your health and financial needs?

Kathleen—A 65-year-old nun living in the community, Kathleen is well educated, well traveled, and wants to continue to make a difference in other people’s lives, as long as her health allows. She takes several expensive medications to treat her cancer and—with limited financial resources—is concerned that she wouldn’t save money on her medications with a Medicare plan because they would be considered higher-cost “Tier 4” Drugs. Kathleen meets with a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) staffer for a one-on-one discussion of her options and learns there are a number of resources available to help.

In Kathleen’s field segment, the in-studio team examines questions relevant to her situation:

  • Why is your local SHIP office or other free resource a good way to get the help you need to find peace of mind?
  • What’s the best way to compare prescription drug plans?
  • What is the tier system and how does it work?
  • Who is eligible for financial assistance, and how can you find out if you are?

Denis—A 65-year-old sitting district court judge, Denis understands all about the letter of the law and wants to make sure he’s following the proper procedure to sign up for Medicare. He doesn’t know if he needs to sign up for Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or if he should consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan offered by a private health insurance company. He is still working and receives health benefits through his job. A Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (VICAP) representative is there to help, discussing his options before he renders his verdict.

In Denis’ field segment, the in-studio team supplies answers:

  1. How common is Denis’s situation – a 65-year-old who is eligible for Medicare but continuing to receive employer-sponsored health care benefits?
  2. What does creditable coverage mean?
  3. Are there penalties for not signing up for Parts A & B when you turn 65?
  4. What are the key points to know before choosing a health plan?

“Baby boomers are a diverse group with diverse health needs. RLTV’s program illustrates that the process of enrolling in Medicare for the first time is different for each individual,” said Tom Paul, chief executive officer, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “Through our Medicare Made Clear campaign and support of RLTV’s program, we hope to provide boomers and other Medicare beneficiaries with the information and resources they need to feel confident in their health-care choices.”

“In RLTV's ongoing commitment to serve the needs of our community of viewers, we have produced Making Medicare Work for You: Boomers, Welcome to Medicare. With UnitedHealthcare's support and partnership, we have crafted a program that informs and empowers boomers to take control of a critical yet daunting subject,” said Elliot Jacobson, SVP of programming and production for RLTV. “Deborah Norville's skills as a seasoned journalist and her ability to distill the essence of even the most complex subject make for an engaging and enlightening program.”

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Making Medicare Work for You: Boomers, Welcome to Medicare walks viewers through the choices to make them easy to understand and provides information to help them take control of their health-care decisions.

The executive producer of Making Medicare Work for You: Boomers, Welcome to Medicare is David Wasser.

Watch Making Medicare Work for You: Boomers, Welcome to Medicare on Thursday, July 28, at 9 p.m. EST.

About Deborah Norville
One of the most watched, trusted and acclaimed journalists on television, Deborah Norville has covered the milestones of a generation. From the funerals of Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan and the devastation in D.C. on September 11th to the inauguration of Barack Obama and the red carpet at the Oscars– if it moved us, if it changed the world, she was there.

Norville has been a correspondent for NBC, CBS, ABC and MSNBC, and she has anchored four major network news shows: 48 Hours, CBS Evening News, NBC’s Today Show, and—since 1995— Inside Edition, winning two Emmys in the process. Viewers look to Norville to make sense of our times with her unique insight, integrity and compassion. Where Norville goes, ratings follow. Norville is also a New York Times best-selling author, an entrepreneur with a national crafts supply business, and a philanthropist who has spearheaded events for numerous charities, including the Mother’s March of Dimes, the Girl Scouts, and the Rita Hayworth (Alzheimer’s) Gala. Most importantly, Norville is devoted to her career as a mother. She can be contacted at her website: www.deborahnorville.com.