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Medicare Information

by Quinn Phillips

SOCIAL SECURITY — MEDICARE
www.ssa.gov/pubs/10043.html

This Web page from the Social Security Administration — which can also be downloaded as an electronic pamphlet in English or Spanish by clicking on the link at the top of the page — gives a more basic outline of Medicare than can be found on the other government Web sites, covering topics such as what Medicare is, who can get it, help for low-income people, and how to sign up.

Books
SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE & GOVERNMENT PENSIONS
Joseph Matthews and Dorothy Matthews Berman
Nolo
Berkeley, California, 2009

This book provides a detailed guide to the entire Medicare program. Topics include how to enroll in Medicare, filing claims and appeals, Medigap supplemental insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, and low-income public aid programs.

THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE
Lita Epstein
Alpha Books
New York, 2006

This book offers both information on, and tips for dealing with, Social Security and Medicare. The section on Medicare includes suggestions for how to pay for what Medicare doesn’t cover.

MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE FOR DUMMIES
Patricia Barry
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Hoboken, New Jersey, 2008

This book painstakingly details the considerations that should go into choosing — or not choosing — a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, as well as what to do once you’re enrolled. It includes worksheets to help the reader evaluate the program’s numerous offerings, tips for reducing drug costs, and ideas for finding outside sources of help.

Online tools and help
MEDICARE RIGHTS CENTER
(800) 333-4114
info@medicarerights.org
www.medicarerights.org

The Medicare Rights Center is a nonprofit organization that operates a consumer hotline (weekdays 9 AM to 5 PM EST, English and Spanish) to answer questions and help solve problems related to the program, including those related to payment denials and appeals, discrimination or mistreatment complaints, and financial difficulty resulting from bills. The organization also advocates policy changes that it believes would help Medicare beneficiaries. Visitors to the Web site can find general Medicare information, sign up for several e-mail newsletters, or learn about volunteering for the group.

MEDICARE INTERACTIVE
www.medicareinteractive.org

This site, a service of the Medicare Rights Center, guides visitors to brief explanations of Medicare topics in response to either a keyword search or — if you don’t know quite what you’re looking for — a “Guide Me” feature that asks a series of questions. It also has a topic menu and an extensive glossary of Medicare-related terms.

MEDICARE.COM
www.medicare.com

This commercial site, operated by a publishing company, has basic information on Medicare as well as a Medicare Part D comparison tool in which individuals enter personal information, including what prescription drugs they take, to find out which plan available in their area is best for them. It is then possible to immediately apply for the plan online.

AARP INSURANCE & MEDICARE
www.aarp.org/health/insurance

This Web page has links to several Medicare-related articles and prominently features a “Doughnut Hole Calculator.” This tool asks you about your health plan, location, prescription drugs, and pharmacy to calculate whether you are likely to exhaust Part D prescription coverage and end up in the dreaded coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” before catastrophic coverage kicks in.

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Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

 

 

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