Terry Turner, writer and researcher for RetireGuide
  • Written by
    Terry Turner

    Terry Turner

    Senior Financial Writer and Financial Wellness Facilitator

    Terry Turner has more than 35 years of journalism experience, including covering benefits, spending and congressional action on federal programs such as Social Security and Medicare. He is a Certified Financial Wellness Facilitator through the National Wellness Institute and the Foundation for Financial Wellness and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®).

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  • Edited By
    Matt Mauney
    Matt Mauney, Senior Editor for RetireGuide

    Matt Mauney

    Financial Editor

    Matt Mauney is an award-winning journalist, editor, writer and content strategist with more than 15 years of professional experience working for nationally recognized newspapers and digital brands. He has contributed content for ChicagoTribune.com, LATimes.com, The Hill and the American Cancer Society, and he was part of the Orlando Sentinel digital staff that was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2017.

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  • Reviewed By
    Alex Ponce
    Alex Ponce, Medicare expert and RetireGuide reviewer

    Alex Ponce

    Licensed Agent at Insuractive

    Alex Ponce is a licensed agent at Insuractive with over 10 years of industry experience. He specializes in Medicare insurance and is licensed to sell in all 50 states.

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  • Published: August 6, 2020
  • Updated: October 13, 2023
  • 6 min read time
  • This page features 4 Cited Research Articles
Fact Checked
Fact Checked

A licensed insurance professional reviewed this page for accuracy and compliance with the CMS Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines (MCMGs) and Medicare Advantage (MA/MAPD) and/or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) carriers’ guidelines.

Cite Us
How to Cite RetireGuide.com's Article

APA Turner, T. (2023, October 13). Medicare Customer Service and Support. RetireGuide.com. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/customer-service/

MLA Turner, Terry. "Medicare Customer Service and Support." RetireGuide.com, 13 Oct 2023, https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/customer-service/.

Chicago Turner, Terry. "Medicare Customer Service and Support." RetireGuide.com. Last modified October 13, 2023. https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/customer-service/.

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Why You Can Trust Us

Content created by RetireGuide and sponsored by our partners.

Key Principles

RetireGuide’s mission is to provide seniors with resources that will help them reach important financial decisions that affect their retirement. Our goal is to arm our readers with knowledge that will lead to a healthy and financially sound retirement.

We’re dedicated to providing thoroughly researched Medicare information that guides you toward making the best possible health decisions for you and your family.

RetireGuide LLC has partnerships with Senior Market Sales (SMS) and GoHealth.

Our partners are able to be reached through the phone numbers and/or forms provided on our website.

The content and tools created by RetireGuide adhere to strict Medicare and editorial guidelines to ensure quality and transparency.

Editorial Independence

While the experts from our partners are available to help you navigate various Medicare plans, RetireGuide retains complete editorial control over the information it publishes.

We operate independently from our partners, which allows the award-winning RetireGuide team to provide you with unbiased information.

Visitors can trust our inflexibility regarding our editorial autonomy. We do not allow our partnership to influence RetireGuide’s editorial content whatsoever.
Key Takeaways
  • Medicare does not operate local offices, but you can contact a Medicare customer service representative over the phone or through the Medicare website.
  • The easiest way to contact Medicare customer service and support is by phone, toll-free at 1-800-633-4227.
  • You can also set up an account at MyMedicare.gov.
  • You should only contact Medicare customer support if you are enrolled in Original Medicare.
  • For questions about a Medicare Advantage plan, Medigap or Medicare Part D drug plans, contact the company that administers your plan.

When Should You Contact Medicare?

You should contact Medicare when you have questions or concerns about your Original Medicare coverage. If you have issues with a Medicare Advantage, Medigap or Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, you should contact the company that administers your plan.

Medicare customer service can help you with the following issues:
  • Billing
  • Claims
  • Coverage
  • Emergency room care
  • Expenses
  • Forms
  • Information about your Part D deductible
  • Inpatient or outpatient hospital visit
  • Medical records
  • Medical supplies and equipment (oxygen, wheelchairs, etc.)
  • Nursing home or hospice care
  • Outpatient doctor care
  • Phone numbers for Medicaid in your state
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Preventive services available to you
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How to Call Medicare

You can call Medicare any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week (including holidays) at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

This is the main number for general information about Medicare. Customer service representatives can help with basic questions. But there are other numbers at Medicare or other federal and state agencies that can help with more specific questions or issues.

Did You Know?
You can bypass Medicare’s automated switchboard when you call by saying, “Agent,” at any time. This will turn off the directory menu and connect you with a human voice.
Source: U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Other Helpful Numbers
Changing Your Address
1-800-772-1213: If you change your address linked to your Medicare account, you should notify the Social Security Administration.
Report a Lost or Stolen Medicare Card
1-800-772-1213: You should notify the Social Security Administration immediately if your Medicare card has been lost or your ID number has been stolen.
Department of Veteran Affairs
1-800-772-1213: If you are a veteran, the VA can provide information about how Medicare can work with your VA benefits.
State Health Insurance Assistance Program
1-800-701-0501: The SHIP program in your state provides counseling services to help you choose the right Medicare plan and health insurance tailored to your needs and finances. The national hotline can set you up with the program in your state.

You can also use Medicare’s Helpful Contacts locator to look up contact information for dozens of state and federal agencies along with other organizations in your state.

What You Need to Have Ready Before Calling Medicare

Before calling Medicare, you’ll need to have several pieces of information readily available. This will help the customer service representative identify you and quickly address your questions or concerns.

What to Have Ready When Calling Medicare
  • Your red, white and blue Medicare card.
  • A pen or pencil and paper to take notes.
  • The amount you have already paid, if you are calling about a claim.
  • The date you got a medical service or medical supplies, if you’re calling about a claim.
  • The type of service or supplies you received, if you’re calling about a claim.
  • Your doctor’s or other provider’s name, if you’re calling about a claim.
  • Your Medicare Summary Notice, if you’re calling about a claim and the MSN is available.

You may also want to have a friend or family member listen in to the call on speakerphone. They should stay quiet but take notes for you so you can concentrate on the conversation with your customer service representative.

Also remember that you can request the information from Medicare in writing. Just ask for it at the end of your call.

How to Read Your Medicare EOBs and MSNs

Can Someone Call Medicare for You?

You can have someone else call Medicare for you, but you will have to take some steps first. Medicare will not give out your private medical information to anyone who calls unless you first give Medicare permission to do so.

You will either have to speak to the customer service representative on the phone and confirm that he or she can speak to someone else on your behalf.

Or you can send an authorization form before the call.

How to Fill Out a Medicare Disclosure Authorization Form
  • You can fill out the form online, letting someone call and speak for you immediately.
  • You can download and fill out a paper form in English or Spanish that you can mail to Medicare BCC, Written Authorization Dept., P.O. Box 1270, Lawrence, KS 66044.

If you mail in your authorization, it may take a few weeks before permission is granted.

You have the ability to choose how long this authorization will stay in effect. It can be as short as the one call or as long as a lifetime permission. This is helpful when you are caring for an elderly parent or a sick dependent and/or spouse. 

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Contacts for Medicare Advantage, Medigap and Part D Plans

The Medicare customer service helpline may not have all the answers for Medicare Advantage, Medigap or Part D prescription drug plans. These plans are sold by private insurance companies under contract with Medicare.

You should look for contact information about your plan’s provider on the card you received from the insurer. Or you may need to look at the information you received about the plan when you first enrolled.

Other Ways to Contact Medicare

There are several ways to contact Medicare and receive information in a way you can understand and in an accessible form.

When you make a request, be sure to include your name, phone number, type of information you need and the mailing address where you want Medicare to send you the information.

Ways to Contact Medicare

You can also access all of Medicare’s print publications at the agency’s website. These may be a quick way for you to find the information you’re looking for.

Medicare Customer Service and Support FAQs

What are the main directory prompts when calling Medicare?
After calling Medicare Customer Service at 1-800-633-4227, you can find the answer to many common questions by using number or voice prompts.
  1. For claim status, press 1 or say “claims.”
  2. For questions or to pay premiums, press 2 or say “premium payments.”
  3. For questions about preventive exams, press 3 or say “preventive exams.”
  4. For questions about deductibles, press 4 or say “deductibles.”
  5. For coverage and benefits questions, press 5 or say “coverage and benefits.”
  6. For everything else, press 6 or say “something else” or “agent.”
When should you call Medicare?
You can call Medicare to find out if services are covered, for information about prescription drug plans available where you live, to find Medicare doctors and other health care providers where you live and for other questions pertaining to Original Medicare.
Who is the best person to talk to about Medicare?
Medicare.gov, the “Medicare & You Handbook” and 1-800-MEDICARE are the best sources for unbiased information from Medicare. Your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) also offers free, unbiased counseling on Medicare issues.
Last Modified: October 13, 2023

4 Cited Research Articles

  1. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2021, December 1). Contact CMS. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/ContactCMS
  2. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2019, September 25). Get Medicare Information In an Accessible Format. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20220525152955/https://www.medicare.gov/blog/get-medicare-information-in-an-accessible-format
  3. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2016, May). Get Your Medicare Questions Answered). Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/sites/default/files/2018-07/11386_-medicare-questions-answered.pdf
  4. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Contact Medicare. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-other-resources/contact-medicare