| Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

New to Medicare? Follow this Checklist for a Successful Start

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

welcome-to-medicareIf you’ve recently joined Medicare, welcome! You’re one of more than 50 million Americans1 who get their health care coverage from this government-sponsored health insurance program.

You may feel a bit overwhelmed from the enrollment process. You’re not alone. Medicare can be complicated, and there is a lot to learn.

And you may be wondering, “What are my next steps?” Don’t worry. Here are 7 tips to help make your Medicare journey a smooth one.

  1. Review your new Medicare card to learn how to contact Medicare and what kind of Medicare coverage you have. You may have other cards as well if you signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), a prescription drug plan (Part D) or a Medicare supplement insurance plan (Medigap). Keep all your health insurance cards in a safe place. Bring them with you to the doctor or pharmacy.
  2. Schedule your Welcome to Medicare visit during the first 12 months you have Medicare Part B. This is a one-time exam that will give you a full review of your health and teach you about preventive services you may need. There is no additional cost for the visit, and the Part B deductible does not apply.
  3. Fill out an Authorization Form if you want a family member or friend to call Medicare on your behalf. Before Medicare will give personal health information about you to anyone, you must first give Medicare your written permission.
  4. Sign up for MyMedicare.gov, Medicare’s secure online service where you can access your personal Medicare information 24 hours a day, every day. You can:
    • Track your health care claims
    • View your Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs)
    • Order a replacement Medicare card
    • Check your Medicare Part B deductible status
    • View your eligibility information
    • Track your preventive services
    • Find information about your Medicare health plan or Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part D), or search for a new one
    • Keep your Medicare information in one place
  5. If you have Medicare Part B, learn the five ways to pay your premium.
  6. Mark your calendar to review your coverage every year before Medicare Open Enrollment, October 15-December 7. Your health needs and budget may change, and you may want to fine-tune your coverage, too.
  7. Stay informed. Receive Medicare updates and information monthly by signing up through MedicareMadeClear.


Knowing what to expect and do now that you’re on Medicare will help make your journey a much smoother one.

Related Content 

How to Get the Most Out of Your Medicare Benefits

Don’t Leave Medicare Benefits on the Table. Use Them!

Money-Saving Tips for Maximizing Your Medicare Part D Plan

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or call the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.


1 The Affordable Care Act Helps Seniors – whitehouse.gov (May 2015)


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