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. These resources are a great place to start:
- Medicare.gov: This is the official website for Medicare. Get information about the program and find providers.
- MyMedicare.gov: This sister website can help you manage your Medicare account. It also has a live chat available at any time.
- 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227): This 24/7 resource has recorded answers to most every Medicare question. Say “agent” at any time to be connected to a live person.
- Medicare Savings Programs: These help low-income beneficiaries pay for some part A and B costs. Learn more at medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs and click on Get Help Paying Costs. To apply, contact your state Medicaid office.
AARP is holding a free two-part Medicare webcast. On Oct. 17, experts will review Medicare basics — what it covers and your enrollment choices. The Oct. 25 session will answer additional questions.
In addition, the third edition of AARP’s Medicare for Dummies, by Medicare expert Patricia Barry, has recently been published ($22.99). The book contains the latest policy updates and provides total Medicare guidance.
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP)
SHIPs are free health-benefits counseling services for Medicare beneficiaries and their families, friends and caregivers. Each state has its own SHIP website; find yours at shiptacenter.org. Services include free counseling at workshops or over the phone.
Social Security Administration
Check out the Social Security Administration’s website for information on Medicare eligibility, enrollment, higher-income premiums and extra help. Or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 for help with Medicare eligibility and enrollment, Part B premiums, Part D Extra Help or Medicare Savings Programs.
AARP and Medicare insurance
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The third edition of AARP’s "Medicare for Dummies," by Medicare expert Patricia Barry, is now available.
- READ: Medicare Resource Center
- READ: Understanding costs and coverage of Medicare insurance
- TEST YOUR SKILLS: Medicare open enrollment
- TELL US: What are your concerns about Medicare?