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Toll-free line for Medicare available nationwide

Medicare beneficiaries across the country have access to a national telephone line to get information about their health plan options, Medigap insurance, and the quality of managed care plans.

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The telephone line is sponsored by the federal Health Care Financing Administration, which administers Medicare and Medicaid. The number is (800) MEDICARE, or (800) 633-4227. Callers with a TDD or TTY can call (877) 486-2048. The phone line has previously been available only to residents in Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington.

The phone line is a component of the government's largest communications effort ever to help Medicare beneficiaries get information about their health care options and the Medicare + Choice program. The education campaign also includes expanded and updated printed materials, a Medicare Web site, and partnership programs with more than 200 national and local organizations that work with Medicare beneficiaries.

Callers can talk to a customer service representative in English or Spanish from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time Monday through Friday and receive such help as:

  • General information about Medicare.
  • General information about Medicare health plan options in their community, including original fee-for-service Medicare and, where available, managed care.
  • Specific quality and satisfaction information about managed care plans.
  • General information about Medigap insurance.
  • Telephone numbers for help with billing questions about Medicare claims or other issues.

After hours, callers can use automated options to:

  • Request "Medicare & You" handbooks or audio tapes in English or Spanish.
  • Request updated information about health plans in their area.
  • Listen to recorded answers to frequently asked questions.

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