Medicare.gov: Tips for Navigating the Official Medicare Website
Written by: Vanessa Jerusalimiec
Reviewed by: Brett Braithwaite, Licensed Insurance Agent
Medicare.gov is the official federal website for the Medicare health insurance program. It’s an excellent resource for all your Medicare questions.
Tools and services at Medicare.gov help you compare plans, doctors and even nursing homes.
You can talk to a real person 24/7 by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY: 1-877-486-2048).
Creating a Medicare account gives you online access to all your account information, including claims status.
Medicare.gov answers most of the questions you have about Medicare. The website features several search tools that allow you to search for everything from covered services and Medicare-approved specialists in your area to information about nursing homes.
The website can be challenging to navigate at first, so use these tips to help learn your way around.
Find a local Medicare plan that fits your needs
What Information Can I Find at Medicare.gov?
The official Medicare website has detailed information about Medicare coverage, pricing and plans.
You can find information on any Medicare topic, including:
- What Original Medicare covers.
- Costs of covered services.
- Up-to-date monthly premiums and annual deductibles.
- Information about supplemental coverage.
- Medicare eligibility.
- Medicare enrollment.
You can also find out exactly what services Medicare covers, and what portion of the bill Medicare pays. Just use the Your Medicare Coverage search feature to get detailed information about coverage options. Type in your test, item or service, and find the information you need about costs and coverage.
What Tools and Services Does the Official Medicare Website Offer?
Along with providing helpful and detailed information, Medicare offers a range of tools and services that can make life easier.
Search and compare doctors that accept Medicare
One handy feature at Medicare.gov is the Provider Search tool. You’ll be able to find and compare doctors, hospitals and other providers near you. Each doctor or healthcare provider that shows up accepts Original Medicare coverage. You can search by physician name or area of expertise.
To get started, all you need to do is enter your address or ZIP code, then select a provider type from the drop-down menu.
Medicare.gov nursing home comparisons
Are you looking for a nursing home in your area? Whether you’re searching for a new home for yourself or a loved one, the Medicare.gov tool will help. You can easily access a list of local nursing homes that are Medicare- and Medicaid-certified. This tool gives you a great starting point when looking for nursing home care.
The nursing home comparison tool also provides ratings for each nursing home, including their star rating, overall quality rating and quality of care rating. You can filter results based on proximity to your current location or nearest hospital.
To use the tool, enter your address (or city) and select “Nursing homes” from the drop-down menu.
Search and compare hospitals, home health services and more
The same tool can help you find and compare a number of other services in your area:
- Home health services
- Hospice care
- Inpatient rehabilitation facilities
- Long-term care hospitals
- Dialysis facilities
This tool is a one-stop shop where you’ll find all kinds of care. You can easily locate in-network providers and Medicare-approved facilities in your city. You’ll also have access to all the information you need to make the right decision about your care.
Find medical equipment and suppliers
Do you use a walker, wheelchair, glucose monitor or other medical equipment? Medicare.gov helps you find the supplies you need. Use the Medical Equipment & Supplier Directory to find information about suppliers who provide durable medical equipment such as canes, lifts and oxygen tanks. The directory also helps you locate suppliers who will accept your Medicare coverage.
Medicare plan comparisons
One of the most useful tools from Medicare is the Medicare.gov Plan Compare tool. If you’re new to Medicare, this is a great place to start. And if you’ve had Medicare for a few years but you’re looking for a new plan, this tool is a good way to find one.
The plan compare tool gives you detailed information about Medicare plans in your area, including Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Part D drug plans and Medigap plans.
Just enter your ZIP code to see all the plans available in your area.
Are you eligible for cost-saving Medicare subsidies?
Medicare offers an online portal for all Medicare members. Your secure Medicare account lets you access all of your Medicare information anytime, anywhere.
With your account, you can:
- Add your prescriptions or your pharmacy to compare Medicare Advantage plans and Part D prescription Drug plans in your area.
- Get your claims statements electronically.
- Go paperless and receive your yearly Medicare handbook electronically.
- View your claims once they’ve been processed.
- Access a copy of your Medicare card, or even print your official Medicare card.
- See your monthly Medicare premiums, and even pay them online.
- View benefits information, such as preventative services you can access through Original Medicare.
Setting up your Medicare account is free. To create an account, you’ll need your Medicare number and the date your coverage started — Parts A & B. Once you have your secure account, just go to the Medicare.gov login page to access personalized information about your Medicare coverage.
Does Medicare.gov let you view your account online?
You’ll be able to view your account information online after you’ve set up your online Medicare account. You can see details about your current coverage, the status of any claims, and all your personal Medicare information. Best of all, you can access all this information at any time.
Can I Contact Medicare With Questions Through Medicare.gov?
If you have questions about Medicare costs or coverage, you can contact Medicare online through Medicare.gov. Medicare offers live chat for 24/7 online support. Start by entering your name, email address and your question, then click the “Start Chat” button. A person on the other end will answer your questions and make sure you’re on the right track.
What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?
How Do I Talk to a Live Person at Medicare?
You can always pick up the phone and give Medicare a call. You’ll be able to talk to a real person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Have your Medicare number handy, and make a note of any questions you want answered.
When you call Medicare, you’ll reach the main menu. Listen carefully, then select the option that applies to you. Menu options may include:
- Checking a claim status.
- Questions about coverage and benefits.
- Information about premiums and deductibles.
- Information about preventive healthcare services.
After you’ve made your selection, your call will be directed to someone who can help. You can also press “0” at any time to talk to a live person.
Medicare.gov phone numbers
To contact Medicare by phone, just dial the Medicare.gov phone number:
- 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
- TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048
If you need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, request a replacement Medicare card or change your address, call the Social Security Administration:
- TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778