Know Whom To Ask Important Medicare Questions


Sometimes the hardest part about getting a question answered is knowing whom to ask. And that can certainly be true if you, a relative or friend has a question about a large government program such as Medicare.

To whom should you go for an answer? The folks at Social Security? Or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) — the federal agency that administers the Medicare program?

The answer actually depends on the type of Medicare question that you have.

Here is a convenient guide that you may want to keep handy.

Contact Social Security if:

• You want to sign up for Medicare Part A or Part B;

• You need a replacement Medicare card; or

• You have questions about Medicare premiums.

For more information about these subjects or services, you can visit the Social Security Web site at Or you can call the Social Security toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Contact the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services if:

• You want general Medicare information;

• You have questions about Medicare Part A or Part B coverage;

• You want information about Medicare patients’ rights and appeal rights;

• You need information about nursing homes or Medicare health plan choices in your area.

If you want more information about Medicare you should visit the Web site at www.medicare. gov, or call 1-800-633-4227 (TTY 1-877-486-2048).

Another convenient reference source for Medicare information is the Medicare & You handbook.

If you need a copy, you can call the Medicare toll-free number at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY 1-877-486-2048). You can also find a copy of this handbook at CMS’ Web site at


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