Medicare and Continuing Care

Frequently Asked Questions

22. Where can you get answers to questions you have about Medicare?

The general number for Medicare is 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. You can also visit http://www.medicare.gov. The "Medicare & You" handbook is mailed out to all Medicare enrollees in the fall. It includes detailed information about all aspects of Medicare. On the following pages you will find phone numbers, web addresses, and names of publications that provide detailed information about various aspects of Medicare.

If a person needs to sign up for Medicare, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or go to http://www.ssa.gov to find out more.

Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, gives free health insurance counseling and guidance to people with Medicare -- or to family and friends who have authorization to help someone with Medicare questions. To get the most up-to-date SHIP telephone numbers, call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) or visit http://www.medicare.gov. (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.) Under "Search Tools," select "Find Helpful Phone Numbers and Websites."

For information about enrolling in Medicare Part A or Part B, visit http://www.medicare.gov and view a copy of "Medicare & You." (Under "Search Tools," select "Find a Medicare Publication.") Or, you can contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program.

For information about Medicare prescription drug coverage, visit http://www.medicare.gov to get a free copy of "Your Guide to Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage." (Under "Search Tools," select "Find a Medicare Publication.")

If you have questions about Medicaid, you can call your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office for more information. Visit http://www.medicare.gov on the web. (Under "Search Tools," select "Find Helpful Phone Numbers and Websites.") Or, call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) to get the telephone number. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

To find out about Medigap policies, visit http://www.medicare.gov to view a copy of "Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare." (Under "Search Tools," select "Find a Medicare Publication.") You can also call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

To find out about PACE (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), which provides coverage for low-income, frail, older adults who get health care in the community, call your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office or visit PACE to find out if a person is eligible and if there is a PACE site nearby.

Several states have State Pharmacy Assistance Programs (SPAPs) that help people who qualify pay for prescription drugs. To find out about the SPAPs in your state, call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

For more information about the Medicare Summary Notice, including a sample MSN and information on how to read it, visit http://www.medicare.gov and select "Medicare Billing." Or call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) and say "Billing." TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

For information about appeals, visit http://www.medicare.gov to get a free copy of "Your Medicare Rights and Protections." (Under "Search Tools," select "Find a Medicare Publication.") You can also call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) to find out if a free copy can be mailed to you. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

To find out if a patient is eligible for Medicare's home health care services, call the Regional Home Health Intermediary (RHHI). An RHHI is a private company that contracts with Medicare to pay bills and check on the quality of home health care. To contact an RHHI, or get local telephone numbers for your State Hospice Organization, call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) or visit http://www.medicare.gov. TTY users should 1-877-486-2048.

To compare home health agencies in your area, you can use Medicare's "Home Health Compare" tool. Go to http://www.medicare.gov and under "Search Tools," select "Compare Home Health Agencies in Your Area."

For more information on Medicare coverage of skilled nursing facility care, visit http://www.medicare.gov to look at or print a copy of the booklet "Medicare Coverage of Skilled Nursing Facility Care." (Under "Search Tools," select "Find a Medicare Publication.")