What to Know About Calling the 1-800-MEDICARE Phone Number
- Are you wondering who to contact about Medicare? This guide explains whether to call the 1-800-MEDICARE phone number or the Social Security Administration.
When you have questions about your Medicare coverage, your first instinct may be to call the 1-800-MEDICARE phone number. However, Medicare is a complex health care program delivered by a number of partners, including the Social Security Administration, state agencies and private insurance companies.
This guide summarizes the best ways to get answers about your health care coverage to save you time and frustration. Read on for common questions about Medicare and whether you should call the Medicare phone number, visit the Medicare website or contact another organization.
What Is the Medicare Phone Number?
Medicare can be reached by calling:
- 1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-633-4227
- TTY: 1-877-486-2048
Common Reasons to Call Medicare
You can speak with customer service representatives at Medicare to ask general questions about the health plan or specific questions about your Original Medicare coverage and claims. Callers often have questions about:
- Deductibles, coverage and benefits
- Eligible preventive screenings
- The status of a Medicare claim
- Denied Medicare claims
- Medicare claim calculations
- Claim appeals
Questions related to Medicare Advantage, prescription drug plans and Medigap policies must be directed to your private insurance carrier. You can find their contact information on your plan membership card or materials. Medicaid inquiries are handled by your state agency.
What to Have Ready Before You Call
Your Medicare Number
When you call 1-800-MEDICARE, you're asked to enter your Medicare plan number into the automated system. Be sure to have your Medicare card or number ready at the start of the call.
If you're inquiring about an Original Medicare claim, you should be prepared with:
- Your Medicare Summary Notice, if available
- The name of the doctor or health care provider that you visited
- The type of service or medical equipment you purchased
- The date you received the services
- The amounts of any copayments or cost-sharing that you paid
The 1-800-MEDICARE phone number can only help with Original Medicare claims.
Authorizing Others to Speak to Medicare On Your Behalf
If you need someone to speak to Medicare for you, you must give written permission. Once this authorization is received by Medicare, a customer service agent can discuss your personal health information with another person.
You can download the authorization form from the Medicare website.
Online Medicare Resources
If you have questions about what's covered by Medicare or choosing the right coverage for your needs, the answer may be available online at www.medicare.gov. The Medicare website lets you:
- Find information about services covered by Medicare Parts A and B
- Compare health and drug plans (Parts C and D) in your service area
- Compare nursing homes and health care providers near you that accept Medicare
- Compare Medigap policies
- Download or order Medicare publications
- Create or access your MyMedicare.gov account to track Original Medicare claims, Part B deductibles and electronic Medicare Summary Notices
- Download Medicare forms for appeals, pre-authorized payments and authorizations for discussing your health information with others
When To Contact the Social Security Administration
While the Medicare phone number can help you with questions related to your coverage and claims, the initial enrollment for the plan is managed by the Social Security Administration.
Contact your local Social Security Office to:
- Check eligibility for Medicare
- Enroll in Medicare Part A and B
- Apply for Extra Help prescription drug coverage
- Change the name, address and phone number you have on file
- Replace a lost or stolen Medicare card
- Report a death
The Social Security Administration can be reached at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or www.ssa.gov.