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Medicare System Creates Confusion

Denial of benefits and confusion over out-of-pocket costs top the list of complaints to a Medicare consumer help line, according to a report cited in the Tampa Bay Times.

The report was based on more than 14,000 calls in 2012 to the Medicare Rights Center, a non-profit advocacy group. The center said denial of benefits -- in which the federal agency declines to pay a claim -- accounted for 33 percent of the calls.

Confusion over Medicare enrollment led to 21 percent of the calls; 23 percent were about costs related to premiums, copayments and other expenses. The advocacy group said it has also seen an uptick in calls from beneficiaries who are still working getting inaccurate advice from their employer.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.