The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) maintains two national offices and 10 regional offices.
CMS offices support people eligible for Medicare services, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) has more than 1,200 offices involved in Medicare enrollment.
Both the CMS and SSA provide online tools and phone numbers for assistance with Original Medicare. GoHealth and other organizations offer similar assistance for Medicare Advantage.
Only 11 states and Washington D.C. have a Medicare office, but Medicare resources abound in part because of the groundwork done in those offices.
While Medicare’s offices exist primarily for administrative purposes, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has more than 1,200 field offices that help with Medicare enrollment in person and on the phone. In addition, both Medicare and the SSA offer services and resources via the internet, as do countless supporting organizations like GoHealth.
CMS oversees programs including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the state and federal health insurance marketplaces. The agency aims to provide a healthcare system with better care, access to coverage, and improved health.
Most Medicare-related tasks, such as applying for coverage, can be completed online or over the phone. However, there are a few crucial tasks that must be completed in person.
Find a local Medicare plan that fits your needs
A few regional Medicare offices are spread across the country, existing primarily to make sure the Medicare program, on the whole, stays on track.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is headquartered in a suburb of Baltimore, and CMS also maintains a national office in Washington D.C. Its 10 regional offices are located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle.
You may be saying, “There’s not a Medicare office near me. ” Even if that’s the case, there is a government office near you that can help with Medicare-related concerns.
If you need to determine whether a visit to a Medicare office is necessary, you can dial 1-800-MEDICARE and speak with Social Security to find the information you need. On the call, SSA can help you determine the nearest Medicare office. They will need your address or zip code to calculate the nearest local office.
If you search online, remember that you should never enter any personal information on a website to find the closest Medicare office. A valid Medicare website will not ask you for things like your full name, date of birth, or social security number to search for a local office.
If you need to visit a Medicare office, it’s best to call ahead and schedule an appointment rather than show up and ask for assistance. You should ask about your need beforehand to ensure the office can help you.
What services do Medicare offices offer?
The CMS website states that staff members at its regional offices “work closely with beneficiaries, health care providers, state governments, CMS contractors, community groups and others to provide education and address questions.”
That being said, most of your in-person business related to Medicare takes place at the 1,200-plus SSA field offices. SSA administers enrollment on behalf of Medicare. While SSA offices traditionally offer in-person walk-in appointments, COVID-19 has created a developing situation. For the latest information on in-person appointments, the SSA updates its site whenever policies change.
Medicare resources at your local Social Security office
Your local Social Security office provides services related to enrolling in Original Medicare and administrative issues that can arise. If you need a replacement Medicare card or need to update personal information like your address or phone number, your SSA office can help. SSA provides an office locator tool, or you can call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) for assistance.
SSA provides a guide that helps you determine whether you need assistance from SSA or CMS.
Both SSA and CMS have tools that make it possible for you to take care of most if not all of your Medicare-related needs without leaving your house.
You can find many answers for needs related to the enrollment process and perform many tasks via your personal “my Social Security” account. The same account also can be used to manage your Social Security benefits. The online service is helpful if you draw Social Security benefits, and the Original Medicare premiums you owe usually come out of your Social Security check.
For information related to your ongoing Medicare needs, you can find many answers and perform many tasks via your personal Medicare.gov account.
Are you eligible for cost-saving Medicare subsidies?
Medicare resources on the internet are available 24/7, and that’s also the case if you want to talk to someone on the phone about your Medicare benefits. You can call Medicare 24 hours a day (except for some federal holidays) at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY: 1-877-486-2048). In addition to the Medicare office phone number, Medicare also offers live online chat 24 hours a day.
If you prefer help on a more local level, Medicare guidance is available through the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP). You can call 1-877-839-2675 to connect with SHIP advisors in your state.
While multiple government organizations can help you with Original Medicare, a GoHealth licensed insurance agent is here to help if you want to switch your coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan. An agent is a phone call away at 1-855-792-0088 (TTY: 711) to guide you through finding the right Medicare plan for you.
Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans under rules set by CMS that replace the coverage provided by Parts A and B of Original Medicare while adding the protection of an out-of-pocket maximum and often additional coverage like dental and vision benefits.
What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?