Get Your Medicare Questions Answered

Do you have questions about your Medicare coverage?

1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) can help. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

What should I have ready when I call 1-800-MEDICARE?
Have your Medicare number from your red, white, and blue Medicare card available.
The automated system will ask for your Medicare number at the beginning of the call.
You can either say your Medicare number or enter it with the phone keypad–enter the numbers and press the * key for any letter(s). For example, if your Medicare number is 123-45-6789A, press 123456789*. The voice system will then ask you for that letter.

How can someone call 1-800-MEDICARE for me?
Medicare won’t give out your personal health information to others through 1-800-MEDICARE unless you give permission. You can either give verbal permission over the phone for the customer service representative to speak with someone else on your behalf, or fill out an authorization form in advance.

There are 2 ways to fill out the “Medicare Authorization to Disclose Personal Health Information” form:
• Fill out and submit an electronic authorization form online at /medicare-forms.html. This lets someone call and speak immediately on your behalf.
• Download, fill out, print, and sign the form from /medicare-forms.html, then mail it to: Medicare BCC, Written Authorization Dept., P.O. Box 1270, Lawrence, KS 66044. If you submit the form by mail, then it generally takes a few weeks before permission is in place for someone to speak on your behalf.
You can call 1-800-MEDICARE for help filling out the form.

How do I call 1-800-MEDICARE about a claim?
• First, say “claims” to the automated system if you’re calling about:
– An issue with a Medicare claim (like a question about a covered or non-covered service)
– Your “Medicare Summary Notice” (MSN) (like why the MSN shows the claim was denied or what amount Medicare paid)
– Medical services and supplies you got (like a question about a wheelchair or other durable medical equipment)
• The automated system will then ask you what type of claim you’re calling about. You can say “doctor service,” “hospital stay,” or “medical supplies.”
• You should have this information available when you speak with
a customer service representative:
– Your MSN (if available)
– The doctor or provider’s name
– The date you got the service
– The type of service or supply you got
– Any amount that you already paid

When do I contact someone else about my Medicare questions?
For examples of situations where you may need to call someone other than 1-800-MEDICARE.
Want to:
• Enroll in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
• Check your Medicare eligibility or entitlement
• Make changes to your personal information (such as your name or address)
• Report a death
• Replace your Medicare card
• Ask about Medicare premiums
• Apply for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs
Have a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy, and have questions about your plan or policy.

Have railroad retirement benefits and want to:
• Check Medicare eligibility
• Enroll in Medicare
• Replace your Medicare card
• Change your name or address
• Report a death

Want to report changes to insurance that pays before Medicare:
• Report that your other insurance is ending (for example, you stop working)
• Report that you have new insurance (for example, you start working)

Have Medicaid (Medical Assistance) and have questions.

Social Security 1-800-772-1213 TTY: 1-800-325-0778

Your plan or policy
The phone number and website are on your membership card or in your plan materials.

The Railroad Retirement Board
Your local office or 1-877-772-5772. TTY: (312) 751-4701
For questions about your Part B medical services and bills, call 1-800-833-4455. Coordination of Benefits Contractor 1-800-999-1118
TTY: 1-800-318-8782

Your State Medical Assistance
(Medicaid) office Visit, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and say “Medicaid.” TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Where else can I find answers to Medicare questions?
Medicare has online resources for you.
Register at to:
• Create and print an “On the Go” report that lists information you can share with your providers.
• Add or update your health information, like medical conditions or allergies.
• View or update your personal drug list and pharmacy information, and see your prescription drug costs.
• Search for and create a list of your favorite providers, and find quality information about them.
• Complete your “Initial Enrollment Questionnaire” (IEQ) so your bills get paid correctly.
• Track your Original Medicare claims, and order a Medicare Summary Notice (MSN).
• Check your Part B deductible status.
• View your eligibility information.
• Track the preventive services you can get.
• Find a Medicare health or prescription drug plan.
• Access online forms, publications, and messages sent by Medicare.
• Sign up to get your “Medicare & You” handbook electronically.
Visit for general Medicare information and more:
• Get detailed information about the Medicare health and prescription drug plans in your area, including what they cost and what services they provide.
• Find doctors or other health care providers and suppliers that participate in Medicare.
• See what Medicare covers, including preventive services.
• Get Medicare appeals information and forms.
• Get information about the quality of care provided by plans, nursing homes, hospitals, home health agencies, and dialysis facilities.
• Look up helpful phone numbers and websites.
• View Medicare publications.

Where else can I find answers to Medicare questions?
Visit for information on the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman. An “ombudsman” is a person who reviews complaints and helps resolve them. The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman makes sure information about the following is available to all people with Medicare:
• Your Medicare coverage
• Information to help you make good health care decisions
• Your Medicare rights and protections
• How you can get issues resolved
The Ombudsman reviews the concerns raised by people with Medicare through 1‑800‑MEDICARE and through your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
SHIPs are state programs that get money from the federal government to give free local health insurance counseling to people with Medicare.

SHIPs are independent and not connected to any insurance company or health plan. SHIP volunteers can help you with these Medicare questions or concerns:
• Your Medicare rights
• Complaints about your medical care or treatment
• Billing problems
• Plan choices
You can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to get the telephone number of the SHIP in your state. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. You can also visit