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Confused by Medicare? Here's a List of Resources That Can Help

En español | If you feel confused by Medicare (a normal reaction shared by many), it helps to learn more about how the program works and/or to get personal help in figuring out your options and making choices that meet your needs and preferences.  Here are some sources:

For more information

  • Use the resources on the Medicare website to read the "Medicare & You" handbook, find a doctor, compare hospitals, compare the details of Part D and Medicare Advantage plans, check coverage and much more.

  • Check out the Social Security Administration’s website for information on Medicare eligibility, enrollment, higher-income premiums and Extra Help. 

  • For a Spanish version of this article, go here.

For personal help

  • Social Security Administration: Call 1-800-772-1213 for help with Medicare eligibility and enrollment, Part B premiums, Part D Extra Help or Medicare Savings Programs.

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Call Medicare’s customer service line at 1-800-633-4227 for help on Medicare coverage issues and to compare Medicare options and plans.

  • State health insurance assistance program (SHIP): Trained counselors in every state offer personal help on all Medicare and Medicaid issues for free. To find the main toll-free phone number of your SHIP office, visit the website or call 1-800-677-1116.

Note:  If English is not your first language, you can ask Social Security, Medicare and your SHIP to provide someone who can translate information into your own language during talks with them, free of charge.

Patricia Barry is the author of Medicare for Dummies 3rd edition (Wiley/AARP, October 2017).

Editor's note: This article was updated with the latest edition of Medicare for Dummies.