| Thu, Sep 06, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

Where Can I Get Help Choosing the Right Medicare Plan for Me (or My Loved One)?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

describe the imageWelcome to Countdown to OEP! This is the first part of a two-part series designed by Medicare Made Clear to help you navigate the 2013 Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Countdown to OEP gives you key information that can help you get ready for OEP. The second part of the series, OEP Boot Camp, starts in October.

To get ready for the 2013 Open Enrollment Period (OEP), you’ll want to make sure know as much as possible about your Medicare choices. This is true whether you’re looking at options for yourself, or you’re helping a loved one navigate OEP. There’s lots of information on Medicare available. But how do you know which sources are reliable? And how can you get good information in the way that’s most convenient for you?

Take a look at this selection of resources to help you get your Medicare questions answered in the way that works best for you.


Medicare.gov is the official government website for Medicare. It was recently updated to be more user-friendly, and includes new tools and features. Here are a few areas of the site to investigate.

  • Find doctors, hospitals, & facilities: Learn about services offered and get helpful tips on how to choose a health care provider.
  • Medicare Plan Finder: Enter some basic information about yourself and your coverage needs, and you’ll get a list of plans available in your area.
  • If you’re helping a loved one make Medicare decisions, be sure to check out Medicare.gov’s caregiver support section.

You can also download print materials at Medicare.gov. For example, Medicare & You is a comprehensive overview of the benefits available through Original Medicare. And you can talk to a Medicare expert by calling this helpline: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Medicare Made Clear™

Check out our website’s Learn About Medicare section. There you’ll find a clear overview of how Medicare works and what your choices are. You can also investigate the Discover More Resources section. There you can find free guides, quizzes, videos, worksheets and even the Medicare Match Game to help you make the best Medicare choices for you. Or, if you prefer, you can call us at 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, 7 days a week.

Social Security Administration (SSA)

The SSA can help you understand Medicare eligibility. They can also answer questions about enrolling in and paying for Medicare (or about Social Security retirement benefits and disability benefits). You can go to ssa.gov or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Administration on Aging

For assistance finding local, state and community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers in your area, call 1-800-677-1116, TTY 711. Help is available Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. Or you can visit Eldercare.gov.

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

Your state’s SHIP offers free counseling for decisions about Medicare coverage. You can get answers for questions about choosing and buying health insurance, a prescription drug plan or Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap) and your rights and protection under Medicare. They can also help you figure out if you’re eligible for help paying for Medicare. You can find the phone number for your state’s SHIP at Medicare.gov.

For more information, contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. If you have questions about Medicare Made Clear, call 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.


Medicare.gov – Official U.S. government site for Medicare

SSA.gov – Official website of the U.S. Social Security Administration

Eldercare.gov – U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator


But wait—there’s more! Come back for the next installment of Countdown to OEP: Medicare in the News

Read other posts in the Countdown to OEP series:




Y0066_120827_161846 CMS Accepted