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Several nonprofit organizations have developed educational print materials to help their members/constituencies understand more about Medicare managed care and their health care options. AARP has published a report titled Managed Care: An AARP Guide (American Association of Retired Persons, 1995a), a 21-page guide that discusses the differences between traditional insurance and managed care, the advantages and disadvantages of managed care, questions to ask, and a comparison worksheet that the reader can use to compare plan benefits. More than 80,000 copies of the guide were distributed in 1995. Several questions about managed care plans are also included in another AARP publication entitled Healthy Questions: How to Talk to and Select Physicians, Pharmacists, Dentists & Vision Care Specialists (American Association of Retired Persons, 1995b).
The Medicare Beneficiaries Defense Fund, a New York City-based nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the rights of seniors and people with disabilities, has developed a series of brochures about the Medicare program for consumers. Their Medicare managed care piece entitled ''Medicare Health Maintenance Organizations: Are They Right For You?," is a 10-page pocket-size brochure that provides an overview of Medicare HMOs and that discusses how they work, what a beneficiary should consider before enrolling, enrollment/disenrollment procedures, and the complaints/appeals processes (Medicare Beneficiaries Defense Fund, 1994).
The Center for Health Care Rights has also developed print materials that provide an overview of HMOs for Medicare beneficiaries. In addition to a four-page brochure that describes the details of joining an HMO, the Los Angeles-based organization has also published and distributed 1995 Medicare HMO disenrollment data for Medicare HMOs in California (Center for Health Care Rights, 1995).
Increasingly employers are exploring the introduction of Medicare HMOs as an option for their retirees. For example,