Date of Award

Fall 11-12-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Gerontology Institute

First Advisor

Dr. Candace Kemp

Second Advisor

Dr. Elisabeth Burgess

Third Advisor

Dr. Ann Pearman


Medicare is vital to the health and well-being of many American seniors. However, due to its complexity, beneficiaries often need assistance navigating the federal health insurance system. GeorgiaCares, Georgia’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), provides free and unbiased Medicare information and counseling. The aims of this thesis were to evaluate GeorgiaCares outreach events to discern the social and demographic characteristics of participants and decipher how to best market the events. Participants of nine GeorgiaCares outreach events (n=81) completed anonymous surveys; mixed-methods data analysis revealed the typical participant to be a 71-year-old African American female. Findings suggest an effective way to assist beneficiaries in Medicare-related decisions is through the formation of community partnerships. Suggestions to market outreach events include partnering with churches and grocery stores to disseminate information and enlisting the support of community leaders to overcome barriers of distrust.