Medicare Power of Attorney for a Friend or Family Member
This article was updated on: 07/28/2015
If you’re a caregiver for a Medicare beneficiary, you may not realize that you can’t make health-care decisions on his or her behalf, such as enrolling in a Medicare plan or filing an appeal, unless you have the legal authority to do so. This is required even if the person you’re caring for is a spouse or family member. To make health-care decisions for your loved one, you’ll need to be appointed to act as a legal representative for that person. This may include legal guardianship and durable power of attorney.
If you’re interested in obtaining power of attorney for your loved one, keep in mind that there are several types. Some limit legal authority to health-care decisions, while other types allow you to manage your loved one’s finances. I suggest meeting with a licensed attorney in your area to discuss your options and what may work best for you and your loved one. An attorney can also help you create the proper legal documents (signed and notarized) required for your state. Please note that each state may have different requirements for legal guardianship and power of attorney. Once you have the necessary legal documents, be sure to keep them in a safe place. You may need to provide copies if requested by Medicare, health insurance companies, or medical facilities.
If you’re helping a family member or friend with a Medicare claim or appeal, your loved one will need to fill out an Appointment of Representative form, which authorizes you to legally represent him or her in Medicare decisions. This form should be sent to the same organization handling your loved one’s Medicare claim or appeal. If you have questions about this form or aren’t sure where to submit it, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), 24 hours a day, seven days a week; for TTY assistance, call 1-877-486-2048. If your loved one is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug plan, he or she will need to contact the Medicare plan.
If you’re a legal representative for a friend or family member, I can help answer questions regarding your loved one’s Medicare coverage. You may be able to enroll your loved one in a private Medicare plan with more coverage or lower costs. I’d be happy to review these options with you. To find out more about me, click the “View profile” link below. If you’d like to get some more information, use the other links below. They let you schedule a phone appointment or have me email you information about plans. You can also shop available Medicare plans in your area by using the Compare Plans buttons on this page. Or for personalized assistance, just call us at the numbers and times indicated below.
Call Medicare.com’s licensed insurance agents at 1-844-847-2659, TTY users 711; Monday through Friday, 8AM to 8PM ET.
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