How Do I Prepare Before Calling Medicare
Before picking up the phone to dial the Medicare phone number, take a minute to get ready for the call. Make sure you have:
- Your Medicare number thats printed on your Medicare card. The automated answering system will ask you for your number at the start of the call.
- Pen and paper to take notes. Its a good idea to write down the time you called, who you talked to, and the answers to your questions.
If you call Medicare about a claim, youll need some additional information:
- Your doctors name
- The date you received the service
- How much youve already paid
Questions About Your Current Plan
Are you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, a Part D drug plan, or a Medigap supplement plan? The best person to call is your plan provider. Youll find their contact information on their website, on the back of your Member ID Card or in your plan materials.
Medicare can be tricky, and its hard to know who to call. If you have questions about your current coverage or want to know what other plans are available in your area, GoHealth helps you understand your coverage options. Our licensed insurance agents will walk you through available plans, and help you decide which plan meets your healthcare needs.
If you want to talk to someone who knows all the ins and outs of Medicare, at , and feel confident about your coverage after one conversation.
Medicare Supplement Medigap Insurance
Medicare Supplement insurance is health insurance sold by private insurance companies to cover some of the “gaps” in expenses not covered by Medicare.
For policies sold before June 01, 2010, there are fourteen standardized plans A through L. For policies sold on or after June 01, 2010, there are 11 standardized plans A through N. Each standardized Medigap policy must provide the same basic core benefits such as covering the cost of some Medicare copayments and deductibles. Some of the standardized Medigap policies also provide additional benefits such as skilled nursing facility coinsurance and foreign travel emergency care. However, in order to be eligible for Medigap coverage, you must be enrolled in both Part A and Part B of Medicare.
As of June 1, 2010, changes to Medigap resulted in modifications to the previously standardized plans offered by insurers. Medigap plans H, I, and J, which contained prescription drug benefits prior to the Medicare Modernization Act, were eliminated. Plan E was also eliminated as it is identical to an already available plan. Two new plan options were added and are now available to beneficiaries, which have higher cost-sharing responsibility and lower estimated premiums:
- Plan M includes 50 percent coverage of the Medicare Part A deductible and does not cover the Part B deductible
- Plan N does not cover the Part B deductible and adds a new co-payment structure of $20 for each physician visit and $50 for each emergency room visit
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Should I Sign Up For Medical Insurance
With our online application, you can sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B. Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down.
If youre eligible at age 65, your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn age 65, and ends three months after that birthday.
Note: Important Upcoming Change Rules for 2023 and later: If you accept the automatic enrollment in Medicare Part B or if you sign up during the first three months of your IEP, your coverage will start the month youre first eligible. Beginning January 1, 2023, if you sign up during the month you turn 65 or during the last three months of your IEP, your coverage starts the first day of the month after you sign up.
The following chart shows when your Medicare Part B becomes effective in 2022:
|In 2022, if you sign up during this month of your IEP||Your Part B Medicare coverage starts|
|One to three months before you reach age 65||The month you turn age 65.|
|The month you reach age 65||One month after the month you turn age 65.|
|One month after you reach age 65||Two months after the month of enrollment.|
|Two or three months after you reach age 65||Three months after the month of enrollment.|
The following chart shows when your Medicare Part B becomes effective in 2023:
What You Need To Have Ready Before Calling Medicare
Before calling Medicare, youll need to have several pieces of information readily available. This will help the customer service representative identify you and quickly address your questions or concerns.
What to Have Ready When Calling Medicare
- Your red, white and blue Medicare card.
- A pen or pencil and paper to take notes.
- The amount you have already paid, if you are calling about a claim.
- The date you got a medical service or medical supplies, if youre calling about a claim.
- The type of service or supplies you received, if youre calling about a claim.
- Your doctors or other providers name, if youre calling about a claim.
- Your Medicare Summary Notice, if youre calling about a claim and the MSN is available.
You may also want to have a friend or family member listen in to the call on speakerphone. They should stay quiet but take notes for you so you can concentrate on the conversation with your customer service representative.
Also remember that you can request the information from Medicare in writing. Just ask for it at the end of your call.
Contacts For Medicare Advantage Medigap And Part D Plans
The Medicare customer service helpline may not have all the answers for Medicare Advantage, Medigap or Part D prescription drug plans. These plans are sold by private insurance companies under contract with Medicare.
You should look for contact information about your plans provider on the card you received from the insurer. Or you may need to look at the information you received about the plan when you first enrolled.
When To Contact Your State Medicaid Agency
In order to assist you in getting a timely response, please contact your State Medicaid Agency for any questions on the following:
If you need assistance in any of the areas noted, you will need to contact the agency for Medicaid/CHIP in your state of residence or the state you have questions about in order to receive assistance. Please contact your state for all state-related Medicaid questions.
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Where Else Can I Get Medicare Advice
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs are free volunteer-based Medicare counseling services available in each state. These programs provide unbiased counseling about Medicare questions including details about coverage, benefits, and costs . SHIPs can also assist beneficiaries with complaints or appeals. Importantly, SHIPs can also assist with coverage changes like choosing the right Medicare Advantage or Part D plan for your needs.
Does Medicare Have A Phone Number For Lost Cards
If you lose your Medicare card, youll need to call Social Security, not Medicare. The best way to reach Social Security is by calling , TTY . You can:
- Report a lost or stolen card.
- Request to change the address on your Medicare card.
- Order a replacement card.
You may also report a lost card online, using your personal My Social Security account.
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How Do I Contact Medicare By Phone
When you want to talk to a real person about Medicare, call the Medicare phone number: . TTY users can call . You can call this hotline seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Knowledgeable customer service staff will answer all your Medicare-related questions and help you make sense of your coverage options.
How To Prepare For A Call To Medicare
When you call the Medicare hotline, you will first be directed to an automated system. The automated system will give you some options and will collect information about your request.
If you would like to speak to a Medicare agent, a person is always available, though you may have to wait on hold. Make sure to call when youre in a comfortable position, and at a time when youre able to wait on the phone for a while if you need to.
Have these items or information handy when you call Medicare:
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Does Medicare Ever Contact You By Phone
Whenever you give out personal information on the phone, its a good idea to make sure the person on the other end is who they say they are. If you get a call from anyone asking for your Medicare number or additional personal or health information, hang up! Then call the Medicare number to report the incident and make sure your account is secure.
Medicare will only call you in a couple of circumstances:
- Youre in a Medicare plan, and you get a call from the plan provider or the insurance agent who helped you enroll.
- You left a message and number when you called Medicare, and a Medicare representative calls you back.
What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?
Find A $0 Premium Medicare Advantage Plan Today
For California residents, CA-Do Not Sell My Personal Info, .
MedicareAdvantage.com is a website owned and operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC and TruBridge, Inc. represent Medicare Advantage Organizations and Prescription Drug Plans having Medicare contracts enrollment in any plan depends upon contract renewal.
The purpose of this communication is the solicitation of insurance. Callers will be directed to a licensed insurance agent with TZ Insurance Solutions LLC, TruBridge, Inc. and/or a third-party partner who can provide more information about Medicare Advantage Plans offered by one or several Medicare-contracted carrier. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC, TruBridge, Inc., and the licensed sales agents that may call you are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or the federal Medicare program.
Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE , 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.
Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.
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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 Medicare hospital insurance if they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough. You can sign up for 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 .
When Should You Contact Medicare
You should contact Medicare when you have questions or concerns about your Original Medicare coverage. If you have issues with a Medicare Advantage, Medigap or Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, you should contact the company that administers your plan.
Medicare customer service can help you with the following issues:
- Preventive services available to you
Have you selected your 2023 Medicare plan?
How To Call Medicare
You can call Medicare any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE . TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.
This is the main number for general information about Medicare. Customer service representatives can help with basic questions. But there are other numbers at Medicare or other federal and state agencies that can help with more specific questions or issues.
Other Helpful Numbers
- Changing Your Address
- 1-800-772-1213: If you change your address linked to your Medicare account, you should notify the Social Security Administration.
- Report a Lost or Stolen Medicare Card
- 1-800-772-1213: You should notify the Social Security Administration immediately if your Medicare card has been lost or your ID number has been stolen.
- Department of Veteran Affairs
- 1-800-772-1213: If you are a veteran, the VA can provide information about how Medicare can work with your VA benefits.
- State Health Insurance Assistance Program
- 1-800-701-0501: The SHIP program in your state provides counseling services to help you choose the right Medicare plan and health insurance tailored to your needs and finances. The national hotline can set you up with the program in your state.
You can also use Medicares Helpful Contacts locator to look up contact information for dozens of state and federal agencies along with other organizations in your state.
Youth And Students Line
Use this line for help with payments for students and trainees of any age, and job seekers under 22.
Read more about:
If you need help with an ABSTUDY payment call the ABSTUDY line.
Waiting on your claim to be processed?Claims take longer to process at the beginning of the semester when a lot of people claim at once.
If your payment has stopped, it may be because we need your parents or guardians income information. Read more about how they can update their income details online.
When Should I Not Call 1
Do not call 1-800-MEDICARE if you have specific questions about your Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. Because these policies are administered by private insurers, you must contact your plan insurer directly . This includes questions on plan premiums, deductibles, claims status, and other issues that are plan-specific.
You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE for general Medicare questions not mentioned in this article.
Jesse Migneault is a journalist and editor who has written about business, government and healthcare including public and private-payer health insurance. His articles have appeared in HealthPayerIntelligence, the Hartford Courant, Portsmouth Herald, Seacoastonline.com, Fosters Daily Democrat, and York County Coast Star.
In addition, his work has been cited by health industry stakeholders such as the Eugene S. Farley Health Policy Center, Association of Healthcare Journalists, American Academy of Actuaries, Kaiser Permanente, blueEHR, San Diego Law Review, Medicare Agent News, healthjournalism.org, and Concierge Medicine among others.
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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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.
How Do I Contact Medicare With Questions
Dialing the Medicare number can get you answers in a hurry. But if you dont want to talk on the phone, its easy to reach Medicare using Live Chat. This service is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. You can chat online with a customer service representative and ask all your Medicare questions. Logging into your Medicare account also shows you answers to some common Medicare questions.
Find a local Medicare plan that fits your needs
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