The Make Medicare Work Coalition (MMW) is a collaboration to promote access to affordable health care options in Illinois. MMW is led by AgeOptions, Health & Disability Advocates, and Progress Center for Independent Living. We provide materials, training, and technical assistance to professionals serving older adults and people with disabilities to enable them to help their clients access health care and prescription drug services and supports. MMW was created through generous support by the Michael Reese Health Trust, the Retirement Research Foundation, and the Chicago Community Trust.
Below are some of our MMW materials to assist individuals with Medicare:
Medicare Policy Updates Webinar- January 23, 2019
AgeOptions hosted a webinar to review important Medicare updates and how these changes will affect a Medicare beneficiary's coverage in 2019 and beyond. Topics included: the new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, new Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits, closure of the Part D Donut Hole, Medicare Part D and coverage of opioids, changes in Extra Help Special Enrollment Period, Medicare Advantage step therapy rules for Part B drugs and more.
Webinar Slides (PDF)
Medicare Prescription Coverage
2019 Part D and Medicare Advantage Plan Charts and Resources
MMW Webinar - Medicare Plan Finder Demo - November 7, 2018
The Medicare Plan Finder Demo Webinar will review how to use the Medicare Plan Finder tool to compare standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans. We will also review the Extra Help program and how it works with an individual's Part D plan.
MMW Webinar- Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period: What You Need to Know to Help Benficiaries Make Informed Choices - October 24, 2018
This webinar provided an overview of what professionals need to know when helping Medicare beneficiaries enroll in and compare Medicare Part D plans, including Medicare Advantage health plans, for coverage in 2019. The webinar reviewed 2019 Medicare Part D and health plan options in Illinois, Part D benefit parameters, and factors beneficiaries should take into consideration when making decisions about their coverage.
MMW 2019 Medicare Open Enrollment Topical Brief
The MMW Topical Brief includes information about the 2019 stand alone Medicare Part D plans and Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Part D benefit structure, a list of Part D plans that offer $0 premiums with full Extra Help, and 2019 donut hole information.
CMS Medicare Part D Landscapes
Click the link above to view the current Medicare Part D Plan landscapes provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the CMS website. The landscapes include stand alone prescription drug plan and Medicare Advantage plan details including plan premiums, deductibles, and star ratings.
Medicare Part D Transition Supply Policy Fact Sheet
Medicare Part D plans are required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer new members and certain current members of a Medicare prescription drug plan a one-time 30 day fill of a prescription that is not on the formulary any time within the first 90 days of coverage. Please click on the Fact Sheet above for more information about this policy. (Updated February 2016)
Medicare Part D Appeals Webinar-December 16, 2014 The webinar provides a brief overview of the general structure of Medicare Part D appeals, and describes how to file a Part D drug appeal in detail.
Low Income Subsidy (Extra Help) Resources
$0 premium Part D plans with full Low Income Subsidy (LIS)The charts below list the stand alone prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage Plans that offer a $0 drug premiums for individuals with full Low Income Subsidy (Extra Help) in Cook and collar counties:
2019 charts coming soon!
Best Available Evidence (BAE) Policy Fact Sheet The BAE policy assists Medicare Part D beneficiaries who qualify for Extra Help, but their Part D files do not yet reflect their Extra Help eligibility status. Click on the link above to view a fact sheet created by MMW for more information on how to use the policy.
Limited Income NET (LI NET) Program Fact Sheet LI NET assists indidivudals enrolled in Extra Help, but are not yet enrolled in a Part D plan. LI NET will act as temporary Part D coverage until a beneficiary is enrolled into a Prescription Drug Plan. Click the link above to view a fact created by MMW for more information about the LI NETprogram. (Updated February 2016)
Medicare Plan Finder Resources
MMW Plan Finder Webinar
On October 30, 2013, AgeOptions recorded a webinar on how to use the Medicare Plan Finder tool to compare standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans. Here are the links to the recording of that webinar, as well as the webinar slides:
How to Find Preferred Pharmacies on the Medicare.gov Plan Finder Tool
Use the link above to access instructions on how to find which pharmacies are "preferred" pharmacies in a particular Medicare Part D Plan. When an individual uses a "preferred" pharmacy, their copayments/coinsurance are usually lower.
Other Medicare Resources
Coverage Options for People Age 65 and Over - Flow Chart
Click on the blue link above for a flow chart that helps consumers determine what coverage is most appropriate for them - Medicare, Medicaid, or Marketplace Coverage. The flow chart is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Spanish.
Medicare Coverage Options Webinar- July 18, 2014 This presentation
reviews the various options Medicare beneficiaries have to help manage out-of-pocket costs not covered by Medicare. The webinar includes information about Medicare Supplement plans (Medigap), Medicare Advantage plans, and an overview of how Medicare works with other types of coverage.
Medicare & Discharge Planning Webinar-February 25, 2015 This webinar reviews the relationship between Medicare and discharge planning, including how Medicare and Medicaid influence discharge planning, who should be involved in the discharge planning process, and options when discharging from an inpatient facility.
Webinar FAQ-Answers to submitted questions from webinar participants
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Resources
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Webinar - September 7, 2016
This webinar provides information about Medicare Supplement benefits, how to compare Medicare Supplement plans, and when/how to enroll in these plans. The recording and slides from this webinar are available below:
MMW created a topical brief that contains information about the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, and options for consumers who wish to enroll in a Medigap policy outside of their Medigap Open Enrollment Period. Please click on the link above to view the brief.
Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Medigap Guide
The Medicare Supplement Premium Comparison Guides created by SHIP explain Medicare Supplement benefit options, and provide price estimates from private insurance companies that offer Medicare Supplement plans. Please click on the link above to visit the Illinois Department on Aging SHIP website and view the guides for the Chicago area, North-Central Illinois, and Southern Illinois.
Medicare & Employer Based Health Insurance
Webinar on How Medicare Works with Employer-Based Health Insurance- February 28, 2014
The presentation explains how Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D works with various forms of employer coverage (current employee coverage, retiree coverage, and COBRA), and the steps that consumers should take to enroll in Medicare when appropriate.
Medicare & Veterans Benefits
MMW Topical Brief on Medicare and VA Coverage
Webinar on Medicare, TRICARE, and Veterans Benefits-July 31st, 2015
This webinar reviews Medicare, TRICARE and Veterans Affairs (VA) health benefits. The webinar will include information about VA and TRICARE eligibility, benefits and what beneficiaries in these programs need to know when they become eligible for Medicare.
Click the link above to view videos created by MMW, in partnership with the
Chicago Hearing Society, with information on the Health Insurance Marketplace
and the Medicare Medicaid Alignment Initiative. This page also includes videos
on Medicare benefits in American Sign Language created by the Centers for
Medicare & Medicaid Services. The videos include closed captioning and voice
over narration and aim to relay important information in alternative formats
that can be useful not only to people who use ASL, but also to individuals who
may have low vision or whose first language is not English.