Other Ways To Contact Medicare
There are several ways to contact Medicare and receive information in a way you can understand and in an accessible form.
When you make a request, be sure to include your name, phone number, type of information you need and the mailing address where you want Medicare to send you the information.
All the Ways to Contact Medicare
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Status Of Medicare Advantage And Part D
A Medicare Advantage, or Part C, plan is administered by a private health insurance company that contracts with Medicare.
You can check the status of a Medicare Advantage plan application by contacting the private insurer who administers your plan.
A Medicare Part D plan provides prescription drug coverage. Like Medicare Advantage, Part D plans are administered by private insurance companies.
To check your application status, contact the member services department of your Part D plan for more information.
You can also ask your pharmacy to check the status of your Part D enrollment by sending a test claim to the company.
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Can Someone Call Medicare For You
You can have someone else call Medicare for you, but you will have to take some steps first. Medicare will not give out your private medical information to anyone who calls unless you first give Medicare permission to do so.
You will either have to speak to the customer service representative on the phone and confirm that he or she can speak to someone else on your behalf.
Or you can send an authorization form before the call.
How to Fill Out a Medicare Disclosure Authorization Form
- You can fill out the form online, letting someone call and speak for you immediately.
- You can download and fill out a paper form in English or Spanish that you can mail to Medicare BCC, Written Authorization Dept., P.O. Box 1270, Lawrence, KS 66044.
If you mail in your authorization, it may take a few weeks before permission is granted.
What Medical Supplies And Equipment Does Medicare Part B Cover
Medicare Part B helps pay for durable medical equipment such as oxygen equipment, wheelchairs, and other medically necessary equipment that your doctor prescribes to use in your home. Other items covered by Medicare include:
- Arm, leg, back and neck braces
- Medical supplies such as ostomy pouches, surgical dressings, splints and casts
- Breast prostheses following a mastectomy
- One pair of eyeglasses with an intraocular lens after cataract surgery
Medicare pays for different kinds of durable medical equipment in different ways. Some equipment must be rented, other equipment must be purchased. Your Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carrier can provide more specific information. Check the Important Phone Numbers section of this web site for the phone number for your Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carrier.
How To Find Important Information About Medicare
If youre looking to find important information about your Medicare coverage, the Medicare hotline might not always have the answers youre looking for.
If you have Medicare Advantage, Medigap, or Medicare Part D prescription coverage, you may have to go directly to those private insurance providers for answers to your questions.
Know The Different Enrollment Periods
You can manage your premium costs better if you know when you can enroll in Medicare and when you can change plans. Your Initial Enrollment Period is the best time to sign up for Parts B and D to avoid the late enrollment penalty.
As soon as your Part B coverage starts, you have a one-time opportunity to enroll in a Medigap plan without having to answer questions about your health. If you try to join a Medigap plan at another time, health issues can raise your premium. There are also yearly opportunities to change your advantage or Part D plans. These give you a chance to compare options and choose one with a lower cost.
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How Do I Enroll For Medicare
Some people are automatically enrolled for Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, while others will need to enroll during the Initial Enrollment Period that takes place over a seven month period around the time of your 65th birthday. Your Initial Enrollment Period, or IEP, begins three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after your birthday month. If you are automatically enrolled in Medicare, you will receive a Medicare card shortly before your 65th birthday. If you are not automatically enrolled for Medicare, youll need to register shortly before or after your 65th birthday to avoid having to pay late enrollment penalties and to avoid a waiting period for coverage to begin. You can register for Medicare in one of the following ways:
- Over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213 on weekdays from 7am-7pm
- In person at your local Social Security Administration office
WHO IS AUTOMATICALLY ENROLLED FOR MEDICARE?
Those currently receiving retirement benefits from Social Security as well as those who receive benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. You are also automatically enrolled for Medicare if you are under the age of 65 and currently receiving disability benefits. Benefits begin on the first day of the month that you turn 65, but if your birthday falls on the first of the month, benefits will begin on the month preceding your birthday.
When Is The Best Time For Medicare Part D Enrollment
There are different times when you might qualify for Medicare Part D enrollment:
Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare Part D Enrollment
Your Initial Enrollment Period occurs when you first become eligible for Medicare. For most people, eligibility happens when you turn 65. The IEP begins three months before the month you turn 65. It includes your birthday month and the three months following for a total of seven months. During that time, you can enroll in a Part D Prescription Drug plan or a Medicare Part C plan that includes prescription drug coverage.
Fall Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Part D Enrollment
Medicare also offers a Fall Open Enrollment Period every year that runs from October 15 to December 7. This period allows for Medicare Part D enrollment as well. You can also switch from one prescription drug plan to another during this time.
Special Enrollment Period for Medicare Part D Enrollment
Special Enrollment Periods or SEPs offer the chance for Medicare Part D enrollment when certain events happen in your life. Those events might include changing where you live or losing your current coverage. If your current plan changes its contract with Medicare or you have an opportunity to get other coverage, you might also qualify for an SEP.
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Check Status Of Medicare Application
There are various ways to receive Medicare coverage.
Otherwise, you need to sign up for this coverage on your own.
Once your application is submitted, you can check on its status by:
- Logging in to your My Social Security account
- Visiting your local Social Security office
- Visiting the Check Enrollment page on your MyMedicare.gov account
To check the status of your Medicare application on the Social Security website, you will need to enter your Social Security number and the confirmation number you received when you filed your application.
Your application status will show:
- The date your application was received
- Any requests for additional documents
- The address of the Social Security office processing your application
- Whether a decision has been made about your application
Once your application is processed, you will receive a notification letter in the mail to inform you of whether your application was approved.
If you need help, or are unable to check your application status online, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
When Should I Call 1
Beneficiaries can call the toll-free Medicare number to:
- ask whether certain services are covered,
- get detailed information about Medicare health and prescription drug plans in your area, including costs and services,
- choose and enroll in a Medicare health or prescription drug plan,
- find a Medigap policy in the area,
- request a list of Original Medicare physicians, healthcare providers, and suppliers,
- request information and forms necessary for filing a Medicare appeal or begin an appeal verbally,
- compare quality ratings for skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, home health agencies, and dialysis facilities,
- request Medicare publications.
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What Diabetic Supplies Does Original Medicare Cover
Medicare covers the same supplies for both insulin and non-insulin dependent diabetics. They include: Glucose testing monitor, Blood glucose test strips, Lancets, Spring powered devices for lancets, and Glucose control solutions. Some frequency limitations may apply. Medicare does not cover insulin and syringes. Contact your Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carrier for more information. Check the Important Phone Numbers section of this web site for the phone number.
What Information Can I Find At Medicaregov
Medicare.gov contains a treasure trove of contact information and details about Medicare coverage. For contact information, visit the contact page of the website and enter your state or territory then choose the organization or topic from a dropdown menu.
For complete do-it-yourself Medicare access, visit MyMedicare.gov, and set up your own account with a user name and password. Your own MyMedicare.gov account will allow you to:
- view and print a copy of your Medicare card,
- track Original Medicare claims and your Part B deductible,
- register for electronic Medicare Summary Notices ,
- update and manage your medical information ,
- view the Medicare & You handbook electronically,
- update your drug list and pharmacy information,
- manage your providers.
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Am I Eligible For Medicare
To receive Medicare, you must be eligible for Social Security benefits.
Part A Eligibility
Most people age 65 or older are eligible for Medicare Part A based on their own employment, or their spouse’s employment. Most people have enough Social Security credits to get Part A for free. Others must purchase it.
You are eligible for Medicare Part A if you meet one of the following criteria:
- You are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, even if you do not receive those benefits.
- You are entitled to Social Security benefits based on a spouse’s, or divorced spouse’s work record, and that spouse is at least 62 years old.
- You have worked long enough in a federal, state, or local government job to be eligible for Medicare.
If you are under 65, you are eligible for Medicare Part A if you meet one of the following criteria:
- You have received Social Security disability benefits for 24 months.
- You have received Social Security benefits as a disabled widow, divorced disabled widow, or a disabled child for 24 months.
- You have worked long enough in a federal, state, or local government job and meet the requirements of the Social Security disability program.
- You have permanent kidney failure that requires maintenance dialysis or a kidney transplant.
- You are diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Part B Eligibility
If you are eligible for Part A, you can enroll in Medicare Part B which has a monthly premium.
Will I Need To Prove My Age?
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The Menu Of Options At 1
Before you dial, be prepared with a list of the topics you want to talk about and questions you need answered. Make sure to have your Medicare number and if you are inquiring about a claim or appeal, its helpful to have your most recent Medicare Summary Notice available.
The representatives at 1-800-Medicare can help you with claims and appeals issues if you have Original Medicare. You should contact your insurer directly about claims or billing issues if you have Medicare Advantage or Part D coverage, or if you need to check on claims that are being processed by your Medigap supplement. If you would like someone else to speak on your behalf or represent you in an appeal, you will need to give a verbal authorization to the Medicare agent.
When you reach the menu, you will be greeted by a Yes or No question asking whether you are calling about a processed or denied claim. If you reply Yes you will be prompted to supply your date of birth and other identifying information. If No, you will hear the following menu that will route your call to an agent based on the reason youre calling.
Long Term Care Options
Paying for long-term care
Long-term care includes non-medical care for people who have a chronic illness or disability. This includes non-skilled personal care assistance, like help with everyday activities, including dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. Medicare and most health insurance plans, dont pay for this type of care, sometimes called custodial care. You may be eligible for this type of care through Medicaid, or you can choose to buy private long-term care insurance. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Its important to start planning for long-term care now to maintain your independence and to make sure you get the care you may need, in the setting you want, in the future.
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The Parts Of Medicare
Social Security enrolls you in Original Medicare .
- Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or limited time at a skilled nursing facility . Part A also pays for some home health care and hospice care.
- Medicare Part B helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services.
Other parts of Medicare are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.
- Supplemental policies help pay Medicare out-of-pocket copayments, coinsurance, and deductible expenses.
- Medicare Advantage Plan includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B prescription drugs and additional benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental bundled together in one plan.
- Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.
Most people age 65 or older are eligible for free Medical hospital insurance if they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough. You can enroll in Medicare medical insurance by paying a monthly premium. Some beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher monthly Part B premium. To learn more, read .
How Do I Get A Medicare Low
Many people dont realize theres a subsidy available to reduce Part D premiums and out-of-pocket costs for medications. People with Medicaid automatically qualify for the Extra Help subsidy.
However, you can obtain Extra Help, even if you dont qualify for Medicaid. When your income is low, a subsidy can help reduce Medicare premiums and other costs.
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Medicare Part B Enrollment Sometimes Automatic Sometimes Not
U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents of at least five continuous years may be eligible for Medicare coverage. Youre usually enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you turn 65 or qualify by disability at any age and you receive Social Security Administration or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. For details about how you qualify for automatic enrollment, see Medicare Enrollment.
Youre not automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B in all situations. Here are a few examples of when you may qualify for Part B, but you need to sign up manually:
- If you live in Puerto Rico, youre typically signed up for Medicare Part A automatically when you turn 65 if youre collecting SSA or RRB benefits. However, you need to manually.
- If you have end-stage renal disease , regardless of your age, you may qualify for Medicare but you generally have to apply manually.
- If youre not receiving SSA or RRB benefits when you turn 65, if you want to enroll in Medicare Part B, you need to sign up for it.
You can sign up for Medicare Part B during the following enrollment periods:
To add Medicare Part B, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 , 7AM-7PM, Monday to Friday. For additional information, contact Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE , 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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