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How to Read Your Part A Medicare Summary Notice (full text)

AARP's "decoder" shows you what you need to know

Reviewing your quarterly Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) is important, but understanding it can be a challenge.

See also: Understanding your Medicare statement.

That's why AARP has created two easy-to-use MSN "decoders": one for Part A and the other for Part B. The text below is a printable version of what appears within the pop-up boxes of AARP's Part A Medicare Summary Notice Decoder.

1. Medicare Summary Notice: Medicare sends out statements like this one quarterly. If you didn't use any medical services in a particular three-month period, a statement won't be sent. Your Medicare Summary Notice shows all services and supplies billed to your Medicare Part A account by hospitals, home health providers, and hospice and skilled nursing facilities.

2. Date: This is the date the notice was mailed. Medicare Summary Notices are sent out four times a year — once a quarter — but you don't have to wait for your notice to arrive in the mail. You can also check your account online at Claims typically appear on your electronic statement 24 hours after processing.

3. Name and Address: If the name or address listed here is not correct, visit your local Social Security Administration office or call 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778 for the deaf or hard of hearing), weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can also make the corrections online at In addition, be sure to contact the company that processes your Medicare claims (see pop-up No. 4) with any corrections or changes.

4. Customer Service Information: Medicare contracts with private companies called "Medicare administrative contractors" to process your Medicare claims and pay your health care providers. That's why you may see the name and address of a private company in this part of the notice. If you have questions about your Medicare statement, contact this company.

5. Your Medicare Number: This is the number on your Medicare card. Protect it just as you would a credit card or bank account number.

6. Be Informed: This section gives tips on how to protect against Medicare fraud. For more information, visit

7. Claims Included: Your Medicare Summary Notice covers claims that were made between the two dates you see here. If you want to check a more recent claim, you can always review your account online at Claims typically appear on your electronic statement 24 hours after processing.

8. Part A Hospital Insurance — Inpatient Claims: Part A claims are made for medical services or supplies received while you are a patient in a hospital or skilled nursing or hospice facility. Some services or supplies you receive at home also are covered under Part A. You have the right to receive an itemized statement listing all services and supplies referred to in this section. For an itemized statement, contact the billing hospital or facility directly. Also, contact the billing office if you spot errors in this section of the statement.

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