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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.

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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