Medicare.gov: Getting to Know the U.S. Government Site for Medicare

Pamela Cannaday by Pamela Cannaday | Licensed since 2011
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This article was updated on: 08/29/2018

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Medicare.gov is the official U.S. government site for Medicare. You will find a wealth of Medicare information on this site, including how to sign up for Medicare, what Medicare covers, and what Medicare costs. If you educate yourself about Medicare at Medicare.gov, you can make better informed decisions about your Medicare coverage.

Navigating Medicare.gov

You can search a term in the search box located on the top right of most pages on Medicare.gov. You can type in terms like “Pay Part B Premium” or “Does Medicare cover glasses.” You can also browse using the site’s navigational buttons which include:

  • Signup/change plans
  • Your Medicare costs
  • What Medicare covers
  • Drug Coverage (Part D)
  • Supplements & other insurance
  • Claims & appeals
  • Manage your health
  • Forms, help & resources

Find out if your test, service, or item is covered by Medicare on Medicare.gov

Medicare.gov features a prominent search bar on the home page where you can enter a search term for something you’re wondering is covered. For example, you can enter “hearing aids” and be directed to the page on hearing, balance exams, and hearing aids. You can enter “breast cancer” and be directed to pages on breast reconstruction surgery and mammograms. If you enter “flu shot” you’ll be directed to a page on flu shots and other pages on vaccinations and preventative and screening services.

Applying for Medicare on Medicare.gov

You may be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you are eligible. If you need to apply for Medicare Part A and Part B you have to do that through the Social Security Administration website, but you will find a link to that on Medicare.gov. If you are looking for a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, or Medicare Supplement plan, you may be able to find that through the Medicare plan finder on Medicare.gov. You can do a search just with your zip code or a personalized search with your zip code, Medicare number, last name, effective date for Part A, and date of birth.

Find Medicare doctors on Medicare.gov

When you first get Medicare, you may have to switch doctors to be seen by one who accepts Medicare assignment. Or you may be covered by Medicare for many years and need to find a new doctor or specialist who accepts Medicare. You can find Medicare physicians in your area with the Medicare.gov “Physician compare” tool. This link is located under “Sign Up/Change Plans” as “Find doctors, hospitals, and facilities.” Just enter your city and search term, for example “oncologist.” You may then get results for specialties related to oncology within 15 miles of your city. On Medicare.gov you can also can search for:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Medical equipment suppliers
  • Hospice agencies
  • And more

What should I do if I can’t find an answer on Medicare.gov?

If you can’t find an answer to your Medicare question on Medicare.gov, you can try calling Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE to speak to a live agent. Agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in all time zones.

Would you like to start searching for Medicare plans in your area?

Enter your zip code on this page to get started.

The Medicare.gov website may be updated and changed at any time. The above descriptions reference content of Medicare.gov as of August 8, 2018.

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