Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides medical coverage for seniors over the age of 65 and, in some cases, younger people who have disabilities or serious illnesses. Because Medicare covers so many people, it gets many calls each day from individuals seeking information and services.
People call Medicare customer support for a range of reasons, including:
Medicare's phone-based customer support is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and is even open on some Federal holidays. Individuals who are deaf or have a hearing impairment can use Medicare's TTY/TDD number.
There are several things that you can do to ensure that your call goes smoothly and that you get the information you need or an appropriate resolution to a problem:
First, Make sure that you are calling the right agency:
Next, have a way to take notes during your call. Knowing who you spoke to and what was said during your conversation can be helpful if you have to escalate your case. Be sure to add the date and time of your call to your notes.
Finally, make sure you have your Medicare card (if you have one) in front of you, along with any correspondence from Medicare that is relevant to your case.
As is often the case with organizations that have a lot of calls, there appears to be a range of opinions regarding Medicare customer support. Some people are satisfied while others complain of long wait times or a lack of follow-through after making a call.
Medicare's phone-based customer service representatives can provide you with information about a wide range of concerns, including premium status, claims and appeals, and details about your benefits and level of coverage. You can also report cases of suspected Medicare fraud over the phone.
Because Medicare deals with health care issues, confidentiality is important. Some issues, such as giving your medical provider permission to communicate with Medicare on your behalf, will require you to complete an authorization form.
If you make a call to Medicare and are dissatisfied with your conversation or a lack of resolution, don't fret. You have options available to you.
First, if you haven't already, write down what happened during the call. You'll want this in front of you when making future contact with Medicare, as it will be easier to explain what happened.
Next, call back: Every phone representative is different and you may find that the next person you speak to has better training and is able to address your concern.
If you have a complaint about your Medicare plan or Medicare prescription drug plan, you can submit a complaint to Medicare via a form on its website. This is not a good option for urgent issues, however and other concerns need to be dealt with on the phone or by mail.
Finally, you can send a letter via postal mail to Medicare that outlines your questions or concerns.
If you still can't get your issue addressed with Medicare, consider the following options:
The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman: Ask your phone representative to forward your issue to Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman. This office will review and work to resolve your issue.
There are multiple state-based agencies that have jurisdiction over Medicare services and facilities: