Get free help preparing your taxes from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy
Bob Dylan Talks!


Military and Veterans Discount


You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation


Introducing RealPad by AARP


AARP Auto Buying Program


Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Download the ipad App



AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP Books

Medicare for Dummies book cover

Get the answers you need, from Patricia Barry, AARP's Ask Ms. Medicare

Most Popular


share your Thoughts

Reader stories help us fine-tune our education efforts and strengthen our calls for action on issues that matter most to you. We read and learn from every story and may use yours (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire other readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Appealing a Medicare Claim Decision

Why, when and how to challenge a denial of benefits

Filing an initial appeal for Medicare Part A or B


  • File your appeal within 120 days of receiving the Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) that lists the denied claim.

  • Circle the item on your MSN that you are appealing and clearly explain why you think Medicare’s decision is wrong. You can write on the MSN or attach a separate page.

  • Include additional information that supports your appeal. You may want to ask your doctor, health care provider or health equipment supplier for help in providing information that could assist in your case.

  • Carefully read the specific instructions that appear on your MSN about how to file your appeal. (Don’t forget to sign your name and include your telephone number.)

  • Make copies for your records of everything you are submitting.

  • Send the MSN and any additional information to the address listed at the bottom on the last page of your MSN. You can also use the Medicare Redetermination Form (20027) for this step. If you can’t download the form, call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) to request a copy by mail.

The process for appealing a Part A or B claim has several steps

  1. The first level of appeal, described above, is called a “redetermination.”

  2. If your concerns aren’t resolved to your satisfaction at this level, you can file an appeal form with Medicare to advance your request to the second “reconsideration” level in which an independent review organization, referred to as the “qualified independent contractor,” assesses your appeal.

  3. The third level of appeal is before an administrative law judge (ALJ). If you reach this level of the appeals process, you will likely want to be represented by an attorney. Although such third-level appeals usually take place in a conference room and not a courtroom, briefs are filed, evidence is presented and witnesses are called. If the appeal is denied at the third level, it can still be presented to the Medicare Appeals Council, a department within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  4. The final level of appeal is to the federal courts. You generally have 60 days to file appeals before an ALJ, the Medicare Appeals Council and to federal court.

Next: Appealing a Medicare Advantage (Part C) claim decision. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members get exclusive points offers from Walgreens, Duane Reade and

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

AARP membership discount Man trying on eyeglasses at optometrists smiling

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at LensCrafters.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.