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Medicare Basics:
A Guide for Caregivers

Main Newsletter Page

As your parents, grandparents, relatives or friends face health care decisions, they might need to rely on you for help. Medicare can be an important factor in many of those health care decisions. But at this point, you may not be familiar with Medicare basics or other senior services. This 24 page booklet, Medicare Basics: A Guide for Caregivers, is for you.
Medicare Basics, issued by Medicare, highlights eight "decision points" related to the health or overall well-being of an older person. For each of these decision points, you'll find basic information about Medicare and suggestions on finding more detailed information.

Although Medicare Basics is directed to issues for the elderly, younger people with disabilities who have Medicare might face similar needs and issues. This publication might also be helpful in identifying services for them.

That's the good news on this book. The bad news is that we have been told that it is out of print. The booklet was just revised on 2/1/03 but is already out of print. You may still download a copy on the Medicare website.

Go to When you reach this page, scroll down till you see "Search Tools" on the side menu. Place your mouse over "Search Tools" and select "Publications" from the pop-up menu.

When the next page loads, click on the box (or button) that says "Search Now". When the next page loads, there will be three empty boxes that can be filled in. Go to the middle box titled "Enter the CMS publication number". Type in "11034" (no quotation marks) in the box and click on the button marked "Next Step". The link to the booklet will be on this next page.This is a PDF file and you must have Adobe Acrobat to view it. There is a link there for you to download the program if you do not have it.

Warning - PDF files can take a long time to download even on high speed access. Your Adobe Acrobat screen will be white for a while. Have patience, especially if you have a dial-up 56k modem. The booklet will come up. When the 24 pages have loaded, go to the toolbar and hit the drawing of the disc and save the PDF file on your computer to print out later.