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Understanding Your Medicare Statement

Use your quarterly Medicare Summary Notice to keep track of the care you receive — and to help fight fraud

  • If you see an entry for services or supplies you believe you did not receive, contact the listed provider. It may be a simple mistake that the facility can easily correct. If it is, the corrected entry should appear on your next MSN. Or, to view an up-to-date electronic version of your MSN at any time, visit MyMedicare.gov. If you've lost an MSN or want a duplicate, you can use the same website to request that a paper copy be sent to you.

  • If there's an entry for services or supplies that Medicare did not cover, but you believe is a covered service, call your medical provider's office to make sure the claim was submitted correctly. If it wasn't, ask the office to resubmit the claim. (To learn more about what services are not paid for by Medicare, see "What Medicare Doesn't Cover.")

  • If you still have questions about your MSN or there's something you and your health care provider cannot resolve, call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).

  • If Medicare has not paid a claim you think should have been paid, you have the right to appeal.  (See "Appealing a Medicare Claim Decision.")

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Medicare paperwork can be confusing. — Getty Images

You may want to find a convenient place to save and file your MSNs. That way, when providers send you a bill, you can review your paperwork to see if a Medicare payment has already been made. In addition, if you're claiming a medical deduction on your taxes, you can use your MSNs to document medical expenses.

Lastly, once you have no further need for your medical billing information, be sure to shred the papers rather than just disposing of them in the trash. You don't want your personal medical information to land in the hands of identity thieves!

Also of interest: The tug-of-war over Medicare.

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