If you or your loved one are 65 or older, living with disabilities or have an end-stage renal disease (ESRD), you may benefit from Medicare. The federal health insurance scheme will subsidize your health care and make it possible for you to access the services that you need. But you may need to search using terms such as, “Nearest Medicare office to me,” to find one that will help with some of the questions you have.
What Can Medicare Offer You?
Medicare comes in four forms: A, B, C and D. Each of them covers a different medical service or product. Below is a summary of what you can get when you have Medicare coverage.
- Medicare Part A will cover inpatient stays and services you receive in nursing and hospice care facilities. You can also use it to access some coverage for home care.
- Medicare Part B is the medical coverage that caters to outpatient visits, doctors’ and preventative services as well as medical supplies.
- Medicare Part C is an option you can choose through insurance companies that includes enhanced Part A and Part B benefits with possible extra coverage for things like dental, hearing and vision care along with your prescription coverage.
- Medicare Part D will take care of prescription drugs, including vaccines and other shots you may need.
Each type of Medicare has its own set of requirements. Therefore, ensure you consider them to know what you are eligible for and how suitable your preferred option is for you.
Read More: The Disadvantages of Medicare Advantage Plans
Getting Help with Medicare
Previously, Medicare, which started in 1965, was administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). But now, it operates under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Both SSA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can help you access the information you need.
1. Getting Help Remotely
You can get help with Medicare applications and other issues related to the federal health insurance scheme remotely via its official website or by phone. The number to call is 1-800-MEDICARE or (1-800-633-4227). Alternatively, you can log on to your secure Medicare account and use the available online resources.
In addition, you can reach out to the Medicare Rights Center. The organization considers itself the most reliable yet independent Medicare information resource in the country. It has expert counselors to help you understand Medicare.
However, it is mostly accessible as a national helpline, instead of offering in-person help via physical offices. For assistance, you can use the toll-free number 800-333-4114.
2. Use SSA Resources
There is an online application link on the SSA website. You can use it for the application process. But if you want to find Medicare office locations by zip code, you can use the Social Security Office Locator tool for that purpose. It will locate the nearest office near you.
However, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the in-person appointments were canceled. So, you should stick to the online resources options or call SSA via their toll-free number 1-800-772-1213.
3. Use the HHS Option
If you prefer the HHS office option, you could use that too. But you need to remember that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services does not have local offices. Instead, it has regional offices that serve several states each.
For example, the HHS Regional Office 6 is based in Dallas. And it coordinates organizations in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico.
4. Visit SHIP Offices
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, is another option if you want to find Medicare office locations by zip code. It provides local Medicare help via one-on-one counseling. And you can find the nearest SHIP office using their online SHIP Locator tool.
It would be best to find a local phone number and contact the Medicare offices near you first to confirm what to do. You may need to visit during specified hours or carry supporting documents when you go.
I hold a BS in Computer Science and have been a freelance writer since 2011. When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, watching cooking and lifestyle shows, and fantasizing about world travels.