Health Insurance Matters: Social Security

Social Security

Sometimes it’s confusing to know who to contact and for what. Social Security and Medicare offer related services, so people aren’t always certain who does what. This “cheat sheet” can help.
Contact Social Security to:
•See if you’re eligible for Medicare;
•Create a “my Social Security” account to do things like request a replacement Medicare card and report a change of address, name, or phone number;
•Sign up for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance);
•Apply for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) costs;
•Report a death; and
•Appeal an Income-Related
Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) decision (for people who pay a higher Part B and/or Part D premium if their income is over a certain amount).
Find information on how to do all of this and more on Social Security’s Medicare website.
Contact Medicare to:
•See what services Medicare covers;
•Get detailed information about Medicare health and prescription drug plans in your area, including costs and services;
•Choose and enroll in a Medicare health or prescription drug plan that meets your needs;
•Find a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy in your area;
•Find doctors, health care providers, and suppliers who participate in Medicare;
•Get information and forms for filing a Medicare appeal or for letting someone speak with Medicare on your behalf;
•Compare the quality of care provided by plans, nursing homes, hospitals, home health agencies, and dialysis facilities; and
•View Medicare publications.

Visit the Medicare website for more information on these services.

If you need to find out your claim status, find out deductibles, or get answers to premium payment questions, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY: 1-877-486-2048.)
Determining who to contact is the first step in getting the answers you need. Please share these lists with family and friends who need to know more about Social Security and Medicare.

Harry P. Thal, MA, is a licensed insurance broker in California (0621106) and 27 other states. His offices are in Kernville. He is a member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors and Past-President of the Kern Association of Health Underwriters. He may be reached at 760-376-2100, e-mail harrythal@aol.com or visit him on the web at www.harrythal.com.