Medicare telephone operators give poor information, report says

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Medicare's operators need to get their lines straight — and not just the telephone ones — according to a new report.

Phone answerers for Medicare's drug benefit info line frequently give callers false or incomplete information, according to a report released this week by the Government Accountability Office. Investigators for the office posed as seniors or people helping a senior. They placed 500 calls to 1-800-MEDICARE. One-third of those resulted in faulty information or none at all. Such information provides more fodder for Democrats and others who want to extend the May 15 enrollment deadline.

Officials with the Bush administration argued the GAO study did not take into account recent improvements. The study also failed to recognize that seniors could use multiple sources of information, they said.
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