Medicare and You Handbook

Jory Cross by Jory Cross | Licensed since 2012
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This article was updated on: 08/29/2018

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If you’re enrolled in Medicare, you should be mailed a handbook called “Medicare & You” each fall. You should generally receive it in late September. This free handbook includes:

  • A summary of Medicare benefits, rights and protections
  • Lists of available health and prescription drug plans
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about Medicare.

What specific information does Medicare & You cover?

The Medicare & You handbook is updated each year and may provide information on:

  1. How Medicare works and signing up for Medicare Part A and Part B
  • Your different Medicare coverage options (Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage) and things to consider when choosing your Medicare coverage
  • Enrollment information including Open Enrollment Periods for Medicare health (Medicare Advantage) and prescription drug plans
  • What the different parts of Medicare (A, B, C, D) cover
  • How Medicare works with other insurance
  • How much Medicare Part A and Part B cost
  1. Finding out if Medicare covers your test, service, or item. For example, among many other topics, there might be sections on:
  • Ambulance services
  • Bone mass measurement
  • Mammograms
  • Cardiovascular disease screenings
  • Chiropractic services
  • Diabetes screenings
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Eyeglasses
  • Home health services
  • Laboratory services
  • Mental health
  • Physical therapy
  • Travel
  • Urgent care

Medicare & You also has information on what is NOT covered by Medicare Part A and Part B.

  1. How Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement work
  1. Information about Prescription Drug coverage (Medicare Part D) including
  • The two ways to get Medicare prescription drug coverage
  • When you can join, switch, or drop a Medicare prescription drug plan
  • Factors influencing how much you will pay for a Medicare prescription drug plan
  1. How to get help paying your health and prescription drug costs
  1. Knowing your rights and protecting yourself from fraud including information on
  • Filing an appeal
  • Accessing your personal health information
  • Protecting yourself from identity theft
  1. Where to get more information including
  • Telephone numbers for each state’s State Health Insurance Assistance Programs
  • How to get help in other languages

Can I get Medicare & You in different formats?

You can get the Medicare & You handbook in

  • English PDF
  • Spanish PDF
  • Large print PDF
  • Kindle, iPad, and eReader ebook

Medicare.gov also has links for audio version of Medicare & You. To get a braille or paper copy, call 1-800-Medicare 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in all time zones.

If you would prefer to permanently receive your copy of Medicare & You electronically you can request this at Mediare.gov. Go paperless here.

Keep in mind that the Medicare & You handbook is not the only source for this information. You can get many questions answered by searching on Medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-Medicare 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in all time zones.

Use the links below to arrange a phone call with me or have me email you customized information. You can compare Medicare Advantage plans right away by clicking the Find Plans button on this page.

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