In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Medicare program as part of his “Great Society”. In-depth information and answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Medicare program can be found at www.medicare.gov.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is health insurance for the following:
- People age 65 or older
- People under age 65 with certain disabilities
- People of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.
The Different Parts of Medicare
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
- Helps cover inpatient care in hospitals
- Helps cover skilled nursing facility, hospice and home health care.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
- Helps cover doctors’ services, outpatient care, and home health care
- Helps cover some preventative services to help maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans, like an HMO or PPO)
- A health coverage option run by private insurance companies approved and under contract with Medicare
- Includes coverage in Part A, Part B, and usually offers additional coverage like prescription drug plans
Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage)
- A prescription drug option run by private insurance companies approved by and under contract with Medicare
- Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
- May help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future
Where to Get Your Medicare Questions Answered
To get general information and other contact phone numbers
|Voice (800) 633-4227
TTY (877) 486-2048
|STATE HEALTH INSURANCE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SHIP)|
To get free Medicare counseling and personalized help making coverage decisions; information on programs for people with limited income and resources; and help with claims billing and appeals
To replace a Medicare card; change your address or name; get information about Part A and/or Part B eligibility, entitlement, and enrollment; apply for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs; ask questions about premiums; and report a death.
|Voice (800) 772-1213
TTY (800) 325-0778
|COORDINATION OF BENEFITS CONTRACTOR|
To get information on whether Medicare or your other insurance pays first and to report changes in your insurance information.
|Voice (800) 999-1118
TTY (800) 318-8782
|DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE|
To get information about TRICARE for Life.
|Voice (866) 773-0404
TTY (866) 773-0405
|DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES|
If you suspect billing fraud.
If you think you were discriminated against or if your health information privacy rights were violated.
|Voice (800) 447-8477
TTY (800) 377-4950
Voice (800) 368-1019
TTY (800) 537-7697
|DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN AFFIARS|
If you are a veteran or have served in the U.S. Military
|Voice (800) 827-1000
TTY (800) 829-4833
|OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT|
To get information about the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program for current and retired Federal employees.
|Voice (888) 767-6738
TTY (800) 878-5707
|RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD (RRB)|
If you have benefits from the RRB, call them to change your name, check eligbility, enroll in Medicare, replace your card, and report a death.
|Voice (877) 772-5772|
|QUALITY IMPROVEMENT ORGANIZATION (QIO)|
To ask questions or report complaints about the quality of care for a Medicare-covered service or if you think your service is ending too soon.
|Call 1-800-MEDICARE to get the telephone number for your QIO|
The preceding information was taken from the publication Medicare and You 2010. Click here for a printable copy (124 pages) of this summary of Medicare benefits, coverage options, rights, and protections.