The official Medicare website, Medicare.gov, is an extremely valuable resource filled with information about Medicare.
Medicare’s official website, Medicare.gov, is designed for quick access to information, making it just as easy for new Medicare beneficiaries to find answers as it is for those that have been in the program for years. However, with so much information in one place, the Medicare site can be difficult to navigate. This post will help you understand how to use Medicare.gov, making finding answers fast and simple.
How to navigate Medicare.gov
Medicare.gov, like many websites, is set up similar to a textbook. Site menu navigation options include:
- Sign up/change plans
- What Medicare covers
- Drug coverage (Part D)
- Supplements & other insurance
- Claims & appeals
- Manage your health
- Site map
Consider each of these sections of a book, with each section containing "chapters", which are links that provide more information. For example, the first section listed above has several links, each of which offer in-depth information about that specific topic. Below, we explain each section.
Sign up/change plans
Medicare.gov is organized in order of importance for the user. That's why the first link you see on the site menu, Sign up/change plans, is where you get started with Medicare. This section is where you learn that you have to sign up for Medicare through Social Security and not Medicare.gov.
Sign up/change plans answers common beginner questions, such as when you can enroll and what to do if you already have insurance through an employer.
What Medicare covers
A fairly self-explanatory page, What Medicare Covers is where you go to find a particular item or service. It also helps you compare coverage between Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C).
Drug coverage (Part D)
To get prescription drug coverage through Medicare, you need Medicare Part D, as it is not covered by Original Medicare. This page explains your options for medications, including signing up for a Part C plan that includes prescription medication. It also covers costs and how Part D works when you have medical coverage through an employer.
Supplements & other insurance
Supplements & other insurance answers questions about how Medicare works with other insurance. This page also explains Medicare Supplement Insurance, also known as Medigap.
Claims & appeals
Claims & appeals explains how to:
- File a complaint or grievance
- File a claim
- Check the status of a claim
- File an appeal
This is also where you learn your rights and how to give someone else access to your Medicare information.
Manage your health
A broader category, Manage your health provides information on:
- Advance directives, such as a living will
- Electronic prescribing
- Coordinating care between providers
- How to download personal health information
Finally, we have the site map. A plethora of information at your fingertips, this page is an alphabetical directory of everything Medicare.gov has to offer. If you're having trouble locating something specific on the site, this page is sure to help, and also directs to many of the resources listed above.
The Medicare.gov Homepage
The Homepage of any website is the main page you reach once you've entered the website name. Medicare.gov's homepage displays links such as how to get started and how to find care providers. But it also provides access to important news and updates, such as updated COVID-19 information.
How to contact Medicare
Medicare.gov provides beneficiaries four ways to contact them.
The Medicare Helpline is 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227). You may also reach them via TTY at 1-877-486-2048.
For mail correspondence, the Medicare address is:
Medicare Contact Center Operations
PO Box 1270
Lawrence, KS 66044
Finally, you should create a MyMedicare.gov account. This is where you can quickly and easily update personal information, check claims, chat with a Medicare representative, and more.
Local Medicare offices
Unlike Social Security, there are no local Medicare offices or locations. However, Medicare does have regional offices in a handful of major metropolitan areas across the country. These are:
- Kansas City
- New York
- San Francisco
- Washington, D.C.
Medicare does not list physical addresses for these locations, only PO boxes. This helps dissuade beneficiaries from showing up at a regional office in an attempt to enroll in Medicare or file an appeal.
If you're ready to enroll in Medicare, our Find a Plan tool makes it easy to compare your options. Just enter your location and any prescription medications you take to review your Medicare plan options.