Medicare website delayed for Yom Kippur

The Post reports that the new Medicare website, which will allow seniors to comparison shop among the different drug plans, has been delayed until Monday to avoid conflicts with Yom Kippur, the Jewish high holiday. "We wanted to respect all the partners out there and their religious beliefs," [spokemsan Gary] Karr said, referring to the volunteers, nonprofit groups and others who will help counsel seniors on their choices.

The Post reports that the new Medicare website, which will allow seniors to comparison shop among the different drug plans, has been delayed until Monday to avoid conflicts with Yom Kippur, the Jewish high holiday.

"We wanted to respect all the partners out there and their religious beliefs," [spokemsan Gary] Karr said, referring to the volunteers, nonprofit groups and others who will help counsel seniors on their choices.

The website will also contain crucial corrections to information in a pamphlet mailed out to 38.5 million eligible people. Even so, online information is problematic for many seniors.

A study of Medicare beneficiaries by a nonprofit group released yesterday shows that though seniors say they would prefer to get information about the drug benefit by mail, they are more likely to decide whether to enroll after one-on-one counseling or other direct contact.

The study commissioned by Medicare Today -- a coalition of pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, employers and nonprofit health-care advocacy organizations -- also found that beneficiaries would prefer to get information from an undefined "Medicare expert," rather than from doctors, pharmacists or friends and family members.