By Mary Jane Stern
The other day I helped my neighbor, who is turning 65 next month, with options for selecting different Medicare plans (Part A, B, C and D and Medigap).
One of her complaints was there is no place to get the information I presented her. She doesn’t use the computer and the computer she has is in desperate need of repair. So what does a person do to get questions answered and know what choices they have for the different Medicare plans?
Today, it is estimated there are 7,000 Baby Boomers, per day, becoming eligible for Medicare. If you don’t regularly use a computer nor have one, and the material being sent seems a little over-whelming, who can you turn to for assistance?
Medicare employees are very friendly and helpful over the telephone. You might be on hold for a while or have them call you back, but they are able to help you. Here is important information that Medicare has published, for you to pass on to a friend, relative or someone you know that doesn’t have a computer and needs more help with Medicare or just has other questions:
Call the Medicare Helpline
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) (English and Spanish) TTY 1-877-486-2048
- Get general Medicare information.
- Get answers to questions about what Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) covers.
- Ask for information about your Medicare health coverage choices including cost, benefits, quality, and more.
- Get information and ask questions about Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
- Get information about your Medicare appeal and patients’ rights.
- Get information about nursing homes in your area.
- Ask for Medicare booklets including the “Medicare & You” handbook. May also be available in audiotape (English and Spanish), Braille, Spanish, and large print (English and Spanish).
- Get information about Medicare events and activities in your area. F
- Find the most up-to-date phone numbers (including TTY) for information on Medicare bills and services, fraud and abuse, buying Medigap or long-term care insurance, appeals and complaints, and programs to help pay medical bills for people with limited income.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week to use the speech-automated system so you can easily get the information you need in English or Spanish. This system will ask you questions that you answer with your voice to direct your call automatically. You can also speak to an English or Spanish speaking operator.
Where to Get Other Medicare Questions Answered - Call Social Security
1-800-772-1213 (English and Spanish) TTY 1-800-325-0778
- Ask for a replacement Medicare card.
- Change your address.
- Sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B.
- Apply for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs if you have limited income and resources.
- Ask questions about Social Security benefits.
- Ask questions about Medicare Part A and Part B eligibility and enrollment options
- Ask questions to see if you qualify for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs. Ask Medicare premium questions.
- Find your local Social Security office.
- Report a death.
Hours to call:
7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday to speak to an English or Spanish speaking operator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to listen to pre-recorded information and services in English or Spanish
Visit Your Local Library
If you don’t have a computer you can always visit your local library and look on the web by visiting:
Medicare: www.medicare.gov get more information on Medicare, find programs that may help with your prescription drug and other health plan costs, download booklets, and compare health plans, prescription drug plans, Medigap policies, hospitals, nursing homes, and more!
Social Security: www.socialsecurity.gov, get more information for a Medicare replacement card, find your local Social Security office, and get important information about Social Security.
If you get benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, call your local office at 1-800-808-0772 or visit www.rrb.gov on the web.