If you need help understanding your Medicare rights and how to exercise them, there is free information and assistance that you can access. Below are examples of places you can get help:

  • State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) – Each state offers a SHIP, partly funded by the federal government, to give you free counseling and assistance. A SHIP counselor may be available by phone or in person. Your SHIP can help you:
    • Learn about your Medicare plan options (Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Part D, Medigaps)
    • Understand your Medicare Summary Notices
    • Appeal coverage denials
    • Apply for programs that help save costs (Extra Help, Medicare Savings Programs)
    • Learn about and contact other agencies for additional assistance
  • Medicare – The federal government has a toll-free number, 1-800-MEDICARE, and a website that provides basic information about Medicare coverage and your private health and/or drug plan options.
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) – The federal government has a toll-free number, 800-772-1213, and a website that provides basic information about Social Security benefits, Medicare eligibility, and the Extra Help program for those who need help paying for their prescription drugs.
  • Medicare Rights Center – The Medicare Rights Center is a national nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives. The Medicare Rights Center has a toll-free helpline that you can call to get Medicare assistance (800-333-4114).