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Hilton Head Medicare Insurance | Medicare Insurance in Hilton Head, SC

Are you looking for Medicare Insurance in Hilton Head, SC?

Then you have come to the right place.

SeniorSavingsNetwork.org is your one stop shop for medicare insurance quotes and agents. Whether you live in Hilton Head, Bluffton, Sun City, Summerville, Ladson, Ridgeville, North Charleston or elsewhere in South Carolina our agents can help you find and purchase that perfect insurance policy. We are completely independent and can give you honest advice on the entire market, not just one company.

Contact us at 1-800-729-9590 for a free, independent quote on your Medicare Supplement plan.

Hilton Head Medicare Supplements

Charleston Medicare Insurance | Medicare Supplement in Charleston, SC

We are Charleston’s Number One Medicare Help Center.

Over 25 years ago, we started helping people with their insurance needs.

With the web of confusion that surrounds Medicare and the 10,000+ people turning 65 every day, we soon realized there is not enough straightforward help to someone who is new to the program.

We began specializing in Medicare and grew to service over 40 states.

The good news, is we are right here in Charleston!

Call us directly:

1-800-729-9590

Local Help

We have helped thousands of people all over the country with their Medicare. While we do most of our business over the phone, some people prefer a face to face approach.

If you need help with Medicare, you have come to the right place. 

Our philosophy is to meet people where they are most comfortable.

You can call, email, or stop by. No matter what method you prefer, our job is to help you first.

One-stop Shop.

SeniorSavingsNetwork.org is your one-stop shop for Medicare insurance quotes and agents.

Whether you live in Charleston, James Island, Johns Island, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, Summerville, Ladson, Ridgeville, North Charleston or elsewhere in South Carolina our agents can help you find and purchase that perfect insurance policy.

Independent agency.

We are completely independent agents. That means we do not work for, and recommend, only one company. We find the company that best fits YOU, our client. This can make a difference of $1,500 per year, by picking the best plan available. Medicare is not one-size-fits-all.

We would love to meet you

You can also come to visit our office. We are conveniently located just over the Ravenel Bridge in North Charleston.

 

Summerville Medicare Insurance | Medicare Supplement in Summerville, SC

Are you looking for Medicare Insurance in Summerville, SC?

Then you have come to the right place for independent advice and free help.

SeniorSavingsNetwork.org is your one stop shop for medicare insurance quotes and agents. Whether you live in Summerville, Ladson, Moncks Corner, Linconville, Ridgeville, Charleston or elsewhere in South Carolina our agency can help you find and purchase that perfect insurance policy.

Find an independent Medicare Supplement agent in Summerville, not an agent that works for one company. This way, you get the best advice, as Medicare is not a one-size-fits-all program.

Contact us at 1-800-729-9590 for a free,
independent quote on your Medicare Supplement plan.

Medicare Supplement Summerville

 

South Carolina Medicare Supplement | Medicare Insurance in South Carolina

Medicare Insurance – South Carolina

Are you looking for Medicare Insurance in South Carolina?
Then you have come to the right place.

The Senior Savings Network is your one stop shop for medicare insurance quotes and independent agents. Whether you live in Summerville, Ladson, Ridgeville or elsewhere in South Carolina our agents can help you find and purchase that perfect insurance policy.

Give us a call at 1-800-729-9590 for the best Medicare Supplement quotes in South Carolina.

 

South Carolina Medicare Supplement

Give us a call and let us shop the market for you!

1-800-729-9590

 

 

– A –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “A”.
Abbeville, SC
Adams Run, SC
Aiken, SC
Alcolu, SC
Allendale, SC
Anderson, SC
Andrews, SC
Arcadia, SC
Awendaw, SC
Aynor, SC

– B –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “B”.
Ballentine, SC
Bamberg, SC
Barnwell, SC
Batesburg, SC
Batesburg-Leesville, SC
Bath, SC
Beaufort, SC
Beech Island, SC
Belton, SC
Bennettsville, SC
Bethera, SC
Bethune, SC
Bishopville, SC
Blacksburg, SC
Blackstock, SC
Blackville, SC
Blair, SC
Blenheim, SC
Bluffton, SC
Blythewood, SC
Bonneau, SC
Bowling Green, SC
Bowman, SC
Bradley, SC
Branchville, SC
Brunson, SC
Buffalo, SC

– C –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “C”.
Cades, SC
Calhoun Falls, SC
Camden, SC
Cameron, SC
Campobello, SC
Canadys, SC
Carlisle, SC
Cassatt, SC
Catawba, SC
Cayce, SC
Centenary, SC
Central, SC
Chapin, SC
Chappells, SC
Charleston, SC
Charleston AFB, SC
Cheraw, SC
Chesnee, SC
Chester, SC
Chesterfield, SC
Clarks Hill, SC
Clearwater, SC
Clemson, SC
Cleveland, SC
Clifton, SC
Clinton, SC
Clio, SC
Clover, SC
Columbia, SC
Conestee, SC
Converse, SC
Conway, SC
Coosawatchie, SC
Cope, SC
Cordesville, SC
Cordova, SC
Cottageville, SC
Coward, SC
Cowpens, SC
Crocketville, SC
Cross, SC
Cross Anchor, SC
Cross Hill, SC

– D –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “D”.
Dale, SC
Dalzell, SC
Darlington, SC
Daufuskie Island, SC
Davis Station, SC
Denmark, SC
Dillon, SC
Donalds, SC
Dorchester, SC
Drayton, SC
Due West, SC
Duncan, SC

– E –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “E”.
Early Branch, SC
Easley, SC
Eastover, SC
Edgefield, SC
Edgemoor, SC
Edisto Island, SC
Effingham, SC
Ehrhardt, SC
Elgin, SC
Elko, SC
Elliott, SC
Elloree, SC
Enoree, SC
Estill, SC
Eutawville, SC

– F –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “F”.
Fair Play, SC
Fairfax, SC
Fairforest, SC
Fingerville, SC
Florence, SC
Floyd Dale, SC
Folly Beach, SC
Fork, SC
Fort Lawn, SC
Fort Mill, SC
Fountain Inn, SC
Furman, SC

– G –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “G”.
Gable, SC
Gadsden, SC
Gaffney, SC
Galivants Ferry, SC
Garden City, SC
Garnett, SC
Gaston, SC
Georgetown, SC
Gifford, SC
Gilbert, SC
Glendale, SC
Gloverville, SC
Goose Creek, SC
Gramling, SC
Graniteville, SC
Gray Court, SC
Great Falls, SC
Greeleyville, SC
Green Pond, SC
Green Sea, SC
Greenville, SC
Greenwood, SC
Greer, SC
Gresham, SC
Grover, SC

– H –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “H”.
Hamer, SC
Hampton, SC
Hardeeville, SC
Harleyville, SC
Hartsville, SC
Heath Springs, SC
Hemingway, SC
Hickory Grove, SC
Hilda, SC
Hilton Head Island, SC
Hodges, SC
Holly Hill, SC
Hollywood, SC
Honea Path, SC
Hopkins, SC
Horatio, SC
Huger, SC

– I –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “I”.
Inman, SC
Irmo, SC
Islandton, SC
Isle Of Palms, SC
Iva, SC

– J –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “J”.
Jackson, SC
Jacksonboro, SC
Jamestown, SC
Jefferson, SC
Jenkinsville, SC
Joanna, SC
Johns Island, SC
Johnsonville, SC
Johnston, SC
Jonesville, SC

– K –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “K”.
Kershaw, SC
Kinards, SC
Kingstree, SC

– L –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “L”.
La France, SC
Ladson, SC
Lake City, SC
Lake View, SC
Lamar, SC
Lancaster, SC
Lando, SC
Landrum, SC
Lane, SC
Langley, SC
Latta, SC
Laurens, SC
Leesville, SC
Lexington, SC
Liberty, SC
Liberty Hill, SC
Little Mountain, SC
Little River, SC
Little Rock, SC
Lobeco, SC
Lockhart, SC
Lodge, SC
Long Creek, SC
Longs, SC
Loris, SC
Lowndesville, SC
Lugoff, SC
Luray, SC
Lydia, SC
Lyman, SC
Lynchburg, SC

– M –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “M”.
Manning, SC
Marietta, SC
Marion, SC
Martin, SC
Mauldin, SC
Mayesville, SC
Mayo, SC
McBee, SC
McClellanville, SC
McColl, SC
McConnells, SC
McCormick, SC
Miley, SC
Minturn, SC
Modoc, SC
Moncks Corner, SC
Monetta, SC
Monticello, SC
Montmorenci, SC
Moore, SC
Mount Carmel, SC
Mount Croghan, SC
Mount Pleasant, SC
Mountain Rest, SC
Mountville, SC
Mullins, SC
Murrells Inlet, SC
Myrtle Beach, SC

– N –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “N”.
Neeses, SC
Nesmith, SC
New Ellenton, SC
New Zion, SC
Newberry, SC
Newry, SC
Nichols, SC
Ninety Six, SC
Norris, SC
North, SC
North Augusta, SC
North Charleston, SC
North Myrtle Beach, SC
Norway, SC

– O –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “O”.
Olanta, SC
Olar, SC
Orangeburg, SC

– P –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “P”.
Pacolet, SC
Pacolet Mills, SC
Pageland, SC
Pamplico, SC
Parksville, SC
Patrick, SC
Pauline, SC
Pawleys Island, SC
Peak, SC
Pelion, SC
Pelzer, SC
Pendleton, SC
Perry, SC
Pickens, SC
Piedmont, SC
Pineland, SC
Pineville, SC
Pinewood, SC
Pinopolis, SC
Plum Branch, SC
Pomaria, SC
Port Royal, SC
Prosperity, SC

– R –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “R”.
Rains, SC
Ravenel, SC
Reevesville, SC
Reidville, SC
Rembert, SC
Richburg, SC
Richland, SC
Ridge Spring, SC
Ridgeland, SC
Ridgeville, SC
Ridgeway, SC
Rion, SC
Rock Hill, SC
Roebuck, SC
Round O, SC
Rowesville, SC
Ruby, SC
Ruffin, SC
Russellville, SC

– S –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “S”.
Saint George, SC
Saint Helena Island, SC
Saint Matthews, SC
Saint Stephen, SC
Salem, SC
Salley, SC
Salters, SC
Saluda, SC
Sandy Springs, SC
Santee, SC
Sardinia, SC
Scotia, SC
Scranton, SC
Seabrook, SC
Sellers, SC
Seneca, SC
Sharon, SC
Shaw A F B, SC
Sheldon, SC
Silverstreet, SC
Simpsonville, SC
Six Mile, SC
Slater, SC
Smoaks, SC
Smyrna, SC
Socastee, SC
Society Hill, SC
Spartanburg, SC
Springfield, SC
Starr, SC
Startex, SC
State Park, SC
Sullivans Island, SC
Summerton, SC
Summerville, SC
Sumter, SC
Sunset, SC
Swansea, SC
Sycamore, SC

– T –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “T”.
Tamassee, SC
Tatum, SC
Taylors, SC
Tigerville, SC
Tillman, SC
Timmonsville, SC
Townville, SC
Travelers Rest, SC
Trenton, SC
Troy, SC
Turbeville, SC

– U –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “U”.
Ulmer, SC
Una, SC
Union, SC

– V –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “V”.
Van Wyck, SC
Vance, SC
Varnville, SC
Vaucluse, SC

– W –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “W”.
Wadmalaw Island, SC
Wagener, SC
Walhalla, SC
Wallace, SC
Walterboro, SC
Ward, SC
Ware Shoals, SC
Warrenville, SC
Waterloo, SC
Wedgefield, SC
Wellford, SC
West Columbia, SC
West Union, SC
Westminster, SC
Westville, SC
White Oak, SC
White Rock, SC
White Stone, SC
Whitmire, SC
Williams, SC
Williamston, SC
Williston, SC
Windsor, SC
Winnsboro, SC
Woodruff, SC

– Y –
Cities in South Carolina that begin with the letter “Y”.
Yemassee, SC
York, SC

How will Obamacare Impact Medicare Advantage?

Obamacare will have a significant impact on Medicare Advantage, starting in the 2014 plan year.

Seniors should be cautious when considering staying on their existing Medicare Advantage plan, as many of the plans now have a different (higher) maximum out-of-pocket costs. Many plans have gone from $3,400 maximum out-of-pocket per year up to the max: $6,700 out-of-pocket.

This means if you have a catastrophic health event that requires multiple hospitalizations, doctor visits, physical therapy treatments, etc. these costs can quickly add up to the maximum, $6,700 before you are done with the cost sharing on the Medicare Advantage plans.

If this health event happens late in the year, you can see the reset of the $6,700 limit on January 1, meaning that you are on your own to hit that limit again, fully, before the health plan takes over all costs.

See these videos on the impact of Obamacare on Medicare Advantage:

These are specific ways that Obamacare will impact seniors on Medicare:

Seniors seeking to drop Medicare Advantage should first check on Medicare Supplement quotes before returning to original medicare.

This is easily done by visiting the Senior Savings Network, a free service to seniors that compares all available Medicare Supplement plans to find the best deal in the market.

What is Medicare Advantage?

A Medicare Advantage Plan, in general, is similar to an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) or PPO (Preferred Provider Organization). Most of these plans require you to use the providers in their network, except emergency care, out-of-area urgent care, or out-of-area dialysis).

Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private companies approved by Medicare. You will get your Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) coverage from the Medicare Advantage Plan and not original Medicare.

These plans must cover all of the services that original Medicare covers except hospice care. In the case of hospice care, original Medicare covers it even if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan. These plans are NOT supplemental coverage.

Medicare Advantage Plans may offer extra coverage that original Medicare does not cover, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs. Most include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). In addition to your Part B premium, you usually pay a monthly premium for the Plan, but not always.

You want to be sure and understand all the different aspects of each plan you are considering before making a final decision, as there are many variations in these plans. You may want to view the Medicare Plan Finder to find plans in your area. Remember the benefits are the same when comparing plan to plan. For instance, Plan G with one company is the same as Plan G with another company, even though the premiums differ.

If you are in a Medicare plan, review the EOC (Evidence of Coverage) and ANOC (Annual Notice of Change) your plan sends you each fall. The EOC gives details about what the plan covers, how much you pay, etc. The ANOC includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service area that will be effective in January. If you don’t get these important documents, contact your plan, because any changes must be made from October 15 to December 7, unless there are special circumstances such as moving out of the plan’s service area, obtaining Medicaid, moving to an institution (like a nursing home).

What is Medigap?

Medicare supplement insurance policies are called Medigap policies.

Original Medicare pays for many, but not all, health care services and supplies. A Medicare supplement policy, sold by private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles.

Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that original Medicare does not cover, like medical care when you travel outside the U.S.

Every Medigap policy must follow Federal and State laws designed to protect you, and it must be clearly identified as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Companies can sell you only a “standardized” policy, identified in most states by the letters A-N. All policies offer the same basic benefits, but some offer additional benefits, so you can choose which one meets your needs.

Note: Plans E, H, I, and J are no longer available for purchase, but if you already have one of those policies, you can keep it. Contact your insurance company for more information.

You have to pay the premiums for a Medigap Policy. Different insurance companies may charge different premiums for the same exact policy! That’s why it’s imperative that you seek the assistance of a reputable private insurance agency such as Senior Savings Network for all your Medicare supplement information and rates. Another great resource for Medicare are our friends at BoomerBenefits.com.

What is the Cheapest Medicare Supplement Policy?

Many seniors and those just turning 65 often ask the question, “What is the cheapest Medicare supplement policy?”

This question of finding the best Medicare supplement policy is a great one and has a different answer based on a number of factors. Let’s look at a few of these factors.

Where you live, and your current age and any chronic conditions you may have will factor in to whether or not you can get the lowest possible price. Having an independent Medicare Supplement agent working for you can potentially save you thousands of dollars each year.

Many seniors join a Medicare supplement plan when they turn 65 and never again worry about changing companies or checking the market to see if there is a better price. This is when an independent agent can really pay off. By shopping the entire marketplace, you will soon learn that the cheapest Medicare Supplement policy is often the exact same benefit plan you have (Plan F, for instance) but as much as $100 per month cheaper.

Why is this? Because different insurance companies may charge different rates for the same, exact policy. That is a quote from the Medicare & You guidebook, and the Medicare program wants you to know that a Plan F is a Plan F, regardless of how much you’re paying for it. The cheapest Medicare supplement plan does not mean lower quality, as it is the same, exact coverage.

With an independent Medicare agent working for you, you have the opportunity to shop the entire market without costing you a dime. The services are absolutely free, as the commissions are paid by the insurance companies. If you would like a free analysis of the cheapest Medicare plans in your area, call the Senior Savings Network at 1-800-729-9590. We would be happy to help you in your search. Our service is free.

Medicare and You Guidebook

What’s new (page 4)

What Medicare covers (page 27)

Don’t forget that Open Enrollment begins and ends
earlier—October 15–December 7. See page 12.

Presented by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
This is the official U.S. government
Medicare handbook:

Medicare

&

You

2013

Now available for e-Reader
Visit www.medicare.gov/publications to download a digital version of this
handbook to your e-Reader. You can get the same important information
that’s included in the printed version in an easy-to-read format that you
can take anywhere you go. This new option is available for the iPad, Nook,
Sony e-Reader, Kindle, and all other e-Reader devices.

 

 

Please keep this handbook for future reference.
Information was correct when it was printed. Changes may occur
after printing. Visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to get the most current information. TTY users should
call 1-877-486-2048.

“Medicare & You” isn’t a legal document. Official Medicare Program legal
guidance is contained in the relevant statutes, regulations, and rulings.

Welcome to “Medicare & You” 2013

This year’s handbook is full of important information to help answer
questions about your Medicare benefits, coverage options, rights, and more.
Medicare is stronger than ever and we’re working hard to make sure you have
reliable, high-quality health care at a cost you can afford.

We’re excited to continue implementing the new Medicare benefits provided
to you under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. There’s a lot of information about
this law in the news including many new opportunities for all Americans to
compare plans and get affordable health care coverage. Be assured that you’ll
still have access to all of your guaranteed Medicare benefits. In fact, this
important piece of legislation extends the life of the Medicare program and
offers you real benefits. Here are some improvements people with Medicare
have seen so far because of this law:

¦¦More than 32.5 million people received one or more preventive service at no
cost, helping them find and treat health problems early.
¦¦In 2011, 3.6 million people with Medicare received a 50{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} discount on
brand-name prescription drugs, when they reached the Part D donut hole.
That’s a savings of about $600 per person.
Our goal is for you to live a healthier, prosperous, and more productive life.
Providing you with high quality affordable health care and adding benefits to
keep you healthy will lead us in the right direction.

If you have specific questions about Medicare, visit the newly redesigned
www.medicare.gov to find the answers you need faster and more easily than
ever. You also can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users
should call 1-877-486-2048. For personal assistance, you can turn to your
local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)—they’ve been
helping people with Medicare for 20 years. See pages 129–132 for the phone
number.

Yours in good health,
Kathleen Sebelius

Secretary

U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services

Marilyn B. Tavenner

Acting Administrator

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services
What’s New & Important in 2013

page 51 to
ask your health care provider
which services you need.

More covered
preventive
services

See pages 33, 35, 37,
43, and 46.

If you reach the coverage gap
(donut hole) in your Medicare
prescription drug coverage
(Part D), you’ll pay only 47.5{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}
for covered brand-name drugs
and 79{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} for generic drugs.

Medicare now covers depression
screenings, screenings and
counseling for alcohol misuse and
obesity, behavioral therapy for
cardiovascular disease, and more.
Use the checklist on

Even more help in
the prescription
drug coverage gap

See page 86.

Medicare health
& prescription
drug plans

Visit
www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan
or call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-486-2048) to find plans
in your area. TTY users should
call 1-877-486-2048.
Where to find out what
you pay for Medicare
(Part A & Part B)
The 2013 Medicare premium and deductible amounts
weren’t available at the time of printing. To get the most
up-to-date cost information, visit www.medicare.gov
or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users
should call 1-877-486-2048.

Contents

 
4 What’s New & Important in 2013

7 Index—Find a Specific Topic

12 Important Enrollment Information

13 Section 1—Learn How Medicare Works

13 What is Medicare?

13 What are the different parts of Medicare?

14 What are my Medicare coverage choices?

15 Where can I get my questions answered?

17 Section 2—Sign Up for Medicare

17 How do I sign up for Part A & Part B?

19 If I’m not automatically enrolled, when can I sign up?

20 Should I get Part B?

22 How does my other insurance work with Medicare?

24 How much does Part A coverage cost?

25 How much does Part B coverage cost?

27 Section 3—Find Out if Medicare Covers
Your Test, Service, or Item

27 What does Part A cover?

32 What does Part B cover?

51 Want to keep track of your preventive services?

52 What’s NOT covered by Part A & Part B?

53 Section 4—Choose Your Health &
Prescription Drug Coverage

54 What if I need help deciding how to get my Medicare?

56 What should I consider when choosing or changing my coverage?

57 Section 5—Get Information about Your
Medicare Health Coverage Choices

57 How does Original Medicare work?

64 What are Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies?

68 What are Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)?

79 Are there other types of Medicare health plans?

81 Section 6—Get Information about
Prescription Drug Coverage

81 How does Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) work?

95 Section 7—Get Help Paying Your Health
& Prescription Drug Costs

95 What if I need help paying my Medicare prescription drug costs?

99 What if I need help paying my Medicare health care costs?

103 Section 8—Know Your Rights & How to
Protect Yourself from Fraud

103 What are my Medicare rights?

104 What’s an appeal?

109 How does Medicare use my personal information?

112 How can I protect myself from identity theft?

112 How can I protect myself & Medicare from fraud?

117 Section 9—Plan Ahead for Long-Term Care

117 How do I plan for long-term care?

118 How do I pay for long-term care?

120 What are advance directives?

121 Section 10—Get More Information

121 Where can I get personalized help?

124 How do I compare the quality of plans and providers?

126 Can I manage my health information online?

128 Are resources available for caregivers?

129 State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs)

133 Section 11—Definitions

Index

Find a Specific Topic
A

Abdominal aortic aneurysm 33, 51

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) 126

Acupuncture 52

Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) 108–
109

Advance directives 120

Advantage Plan (see Medicare Advantage Plan)

Alcohol misuse counseling 33, 51

ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) 17

Ambulance services 33, 49

Ambulatory surgical center 34

Appeal 60, 70, 104–109

Artificial limbs 45

Assignment 32, 60–61, 133

B

Balance exam 40

Barium enema 36, 51

Benefit period 30, 133

Bills 59, 122

Blood 28, 34

Bone mass measurement (bone density) 34, 51

Braces (arm/leg/back/neck) 45

Breast exam (clinical) 35

C

Cardiac rehabilitation 34

Cardiovascular disease (behavioral therapy) 35, 51

Cardiovascular screenings 35, 51

Caregiving 128

Cataract 39

Catastrophic coverage 86–87

Chemotherapy 35, 70

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) 102, 127

Chiropractic services 35

Claims 58, 60–61

Clinical research studies 36, 70

COBRA 20–21, 93

Colonoscopy 36, 51

Colorectal cancer screenings 36, 51

Community-based programs 118

Contract (private) 62

Coordination of benefits 15, 22–23

Cosmetic surgery 52

Cost Plan 79, 81, 85, 135

Costs (copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and
premiums)

Comparison of plan costs 54

Extra Help paying for Part D 95–98

Help with Part A and Part B costs 99–100

Medicare Advantage Plans 73

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) 84–87

Original Medicare 58–59

Part A and Part B 24–26, 28, 32

Part D late enrollment penalty 88–89

Yearly changes 12

Coverage determination (Part D) 106

Coverage gap 4, 86–87

Covered services (Part A and Part B) 27–51

Creditable prescription drug coverage 81–82, 88–89,
93–94, 133

Custodial care 27, 31, 52, 117–118, 134, 135

D

Defibrillator (implantable automatic) 37

Definitions 133–136

Demonstrations/Pilot programs 80, 101, 134, 135

Dental care and dentures 52, 68

Department of Defense 15

Department of Health and Human Services (Office for
Civil Rights) 115

Department of Veterans Affairs 16, 88, 94, 119

Depression (see mental health care) 37, 42, 51

Diabetes 37, 39, 40, 42, 75

Dialysis (kidney dialysis) 41, 74, 124

Discrimination 103, 115

Disenroll 67, 78, 84, 136

Donut hole 4, 86–87

Drug plan

Costs 84–85

Enrollment 83–84

Types of plans 81

What’s covered 90

Yearly changes 12

Drugs (outpatient) 44

Durable medical equipment (like walkers) 13, 28, 29,
38, 41, 44, 61

E

EKGs 39, 47

Eldercare locator 116, 119, 128

Electronic handbook 123, 127

Electronic Health Record (EHR) 56, 125

Electronic prescribing 56, 125

Emergency department services 39, 91

Employer group health plan coverage

Costs for Part A may be different 28

Enrolling in Part A and B 19–20

Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) 71, 72

Medigap Open Enrollment 21, 66

Prescription drug coverage 56, 63, 82, 88, 93

End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) 13, 18, 20, 22, 41, 72

Enroll

Part A 17–20

Part B 17–20

Part C 70–71, 76

Part D 82–83

e-Reader inside front cover

Exception (Part D) 90, 91, 106

Extra Help (help paying Medicare drug costs) 15, 81, 82,
95–98, 134

Eyeglasses 39

F

Fecal occult blood test 36, 51

Federal Employee Health Benefits Program 16, 94

Federally-qualified health center services 39

Flexible sigmoidoscopy 36, 51

Flu shot 39, 51

Foot exam 39

Formulary 56, 84, 90, 106, 134

Fraud 112–115

G

Gap (coverage) 4, 86–87

General Enrollment Period 19, 20, 25

Glaucoma test 40, 51

H

Health care proxy 120

Health Information Technology (Health IT) 125

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) 69, 74, 136

Health risk assessment 50

Hearing aids 40, 52

Help with costs 95–102

Hepatitis B shot 40, 51

HIV screening 40, 51

Home health care 13, 28, 41, 108

Hospice care 13, 29, 65, 68

Hospital care (inpatient coverage) 30, 133

I

Identity theft 112

Indian Health Service 88, 94

Initial Enrollment Period 19, 25, 88

Inpatient 30, 133

Institution 75, 76, 82, 96, 98, 134

J

Join

Medicare drug plan 53, 55, 63, 82–83

Medicare health plan 55, 68, 70–72

K

Kidney dialysis 41, 74, 124

Kidney disease education services 41

Kidney transplant 13, 18, 42, 72

L

Laboratory services 41, 47

Late enrollment penalty (see Penalty)

Lifetime reserve days 30, 134

Limited income 95–102, 134

Living will 120

Long-term care 31, 52, 80, 117–119, 135

Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) (Extra Help) 15, 81, 82,
95–98, 134

M

Mammogram 34, 51, 74, 75

Medicaid 23, 75, 80, 96–98, 100–102, 114, 118

Medical equipment 13, 28, 29, 38, 41, 44, 61, 118

Medical nutrition therapy 42, 51

Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plans 69, 81

Medically necessary 28, 30, 34, 38, 41, 49, 135

Medicare

Part A 13, 14, 17–19, 27–31

Part B 13, 14, 17–21, 32–50

Part C 13, 14, 68–78

Part D 13, 14, 81–94

Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO or PPO)

Costs 73

How they work with other coverage 71

Join, switch, or drop 76–77

Overview 68

Plan ratings 77

Plan types 69, 74–75

Medicare Authorization to Disclose Personal Health
Information 122

Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman 116

Medicare card (replacement) 15

Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor (MEDIC) 90, 114

Medicare.gov 15, 123

Medicare-Medicaid Plans 101

Medicare prescription drug coverage 81–94

Medicare Savings Programs 96–97, 99–100

Medicare SELECT 64

Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) 59–60, 105, 113

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) 14, 21, 55,
58, 64–67, 93, 117

Medication Therapy Management Program 92

Mental health care 30, 42

MyMedicare.gov 60, 113, 123

N

Non-doctor services 38

Nurse practitioner 29, 38, 42

Nursing home 29, 75, 80, 98, 100, 117–118, 124, 134,
135

Nutrition therapy services 42, 51

O

Obesity screening and counseling 43, 51

Occupational therapy 28, 41, 43

Office for Civil Rights 16, 111, 115

Office of Personnel Management 16, 94

Ombudsman 116

Open enrollment 12, 21, 66, 76, 77, 104

Original Medicare 14, 27, 32, 57–59, 63

Orthotic items 45

Outpatient hospital services 43

Oxygen 38

P

Pap test 35, 51

Payment options (premium) 26

Pelvic exam 35, 51

Penalty (late enrollment)

Part A 24

Part B 25

Part D 88–89

Personal Health Record (PHR) 126

Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs 101

Physical therapy 28, 31, 41, 44, 136

Physician assistant 38, 42

Pilot/Demonstration programs 80, 101, 135

Pneumococcal shot 44, 51

Power of attorney 120

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan 69, 73, 74

Prescription drug coverage (Part D)

Appeals 106–107

Coverage under Part A 29–30

Coverage under Part B 44

Join, switch, or drop 82–84

Late enrollment penalty 88–89

Medicare Advantage Plans 71, 74–75

Overview 81–94

Preventive services 32–51, 136

Primary care doctor 33, 35, 43, 46, 58, 74–75, 136

Privacy notice 110–111

Private contract 62

Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans 69, 75

Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) 80,
102, 119, 135

Prostate screening (PSA Test) 45, 51

Proxy (health care) 120

Publications 127

Pulmonary rehabilitation 45

Q

Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) 16, 52, 107,
136

Quality of care 16, 56, 80, 123–124

R

Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) 16, 17–18, 25–26, 60,
85, 98, 122

Referral

Consider when choosing a plan 56

Definition 136

Medicare Advantage Plans 68, 74–75

Original Medicare 58

Part B-covered services 33, 37, 45

Religious Nonmedical Health Care Institution 31

Respite Care 29

Retiree health insurance (coverage) 20–22, 94

Rights 103–116

Rural health clinic 45

S

Second surgical opinions 46

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program 114

Service area 71, 76, 80–82, 136

Sexually transmitted infections screening and
counseling 46, 51

Shingles vaccine 90

Shots (vaccinations) 39–40, 44, 51

Sigmoidoscopy 36, 51

Skilled nursing facility (SNF) care 13, 27–31, 41, 65, 70,
136

Smoking cessation (tobacco use cessation) 48, 51

Social Security

Change address on MSN 60

Extra Help paying Part D costs 97–98

Get questions answered 15

Part A and Part B premiums 24–26

Part D premium 85

Sign up for Parts A and B 17–18

Supplemental Security Income benefits 102

Special Enrollment Period

Part A and Part B 19–20

Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans) 76–77

Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) 82–83

Special Needs Plans (SNP) 69, 72, 75

Speech-language pathology 28, 41, 46

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 15,
54, 97, 107, 112, 122, 129–132

State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) Office 80, 97,
100–102, 114, 118

State Pharmacy Assistance Program (SPAP) 101

Substance abuse 42

Supplemental policy (Medigap)

Drug coverage 93, 104

Medicare Advantage Plans 66

Open enrollment 21, 66

Original Medicare 14, 55, 58, 64

Overview 64–65

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 96, 102

Supplies (medical) 28, 30, 37–38, 41, 45

Surgical dressing services 47

T

Telehealth 47

Tiers (drug formulary) 56, 84, 90, 106, 134

Tobacco use cessation counseling 48, 51

Transplant services 18, 72

Travel 49, 56, 64, 65

TRICARE 15, 21, 23, 88, 94

TTY 121, 136

U

Union

Costs for Part A may be different 28

Enrolling in Part A and Part B 20, 22

Medicare Advantage Plans 71

Medigap Open Enrollment 21, 66

Prescription drug coverage 63, 82, 93

Urgently-needed care 49

V

Vaccinations (shots) 39, 40, 44, 51, 136

Veterans’ Benefits (VA) 55, 94, 119

Vision (eye care) 52, 68

W

Walkers 38

Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visit 33, 39, 50, 51

Wellness visit 50, 51

What’s new 4

Wheelchairs 38

www.medicare.gov 15, 123

www.MyMedicare.gov 60, 113, 123

X

X-ray 35, 43, 47

Important Enrollment Information

Coverage & costs change yearly

Medicare health plans and prescription drug plans can change costs and
coverage each year. Always review your plan materials for the coming
year to make sure your plan will meet your needs for the following year.
If you’re satisfied that your current plan will meet your needs for next
year, you don’t need to do anything.

Open Enrollment Period

Mark your calendar with these important dates! In most cases, this
may be the one chance you have each year to make a change to your
health and prescription drug coverage.

October 1–
October 15, 2012

Compare your coverage with other
options. See pages 53–56.

OPEN ENROLLMENT
October 15–
December 7, 2012

Change your Medicare health or
prescription drug coverage for 2013.
See pages 76–77 and 82–83 for other
times when you can switch your
coverage.

January 1, 2013

New coverage begins if you made a
change. New costs and benefit changes
also begin if you kept your existing
Medicare health or prescription drug
coverage and your plan made changes.

 

 

Health plans and prescription drug plans can decide not to participate in
Medicare for the coming year. If your plan decides to leave Medicare or
stop providing coverage in your area, you’ll get a letter before the start of
the Open Enrollment Period. See page 104 for more information about
your rights and options.

Section 1—
Learn How Medicare Works

What is Medicare?

Medicare is health insurance for:

¦¦People 65 or older
¦¦People under 65 with certain disabilities
¦¦People of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
(permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant)
What are the different parts of Medicare?

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover:

¦¦Inpatient care in hospitals
¦¦Skilled nursing facility care
¦¦Hospice care
¦¦Home health care
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover:

¦¦Services from doctors and other health care providers
¦¦Outpatient care
¦¦Home health care
¦¦Durable medical equipment
¦¦Some preventive services
Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage):

¦¦Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
¦¦Includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B
¦¦Usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) as
part of the plan
¦¦May include extra benefits and services for an extra cost
Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage):

¦¦Run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
¦¦Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
¦¦May help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect
against higher costs in the future

 

 

 

 

 
What are my Medicare coverage choices?

There are 2 main ways to get your Medicare coverage—Original
Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Use these steps to help you
decide which way to get your coverage.

Start. Step 1: Decide how you want to get your coverage, Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), also called Part C.
Original Medicare includes Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Part B (Medical Insurance).
Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) Combines Part A, Part B, and usually Part D.
Step 2: Decide if you need to add drug coverage. If you choose Original Medicare and you want drug coverage, you must join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). If you choose a Medicare Advantage Plan, most will cover your prescription drugs. You may be able to add drug coverage in some plan types if not already included.
Step 3: Decide if you need to add supplemental coverage. If you choose Original Medicare, you can choose to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can’t use and can’t be sold a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy.
See page 55 for more details about your coverage choices.

Where can I get my questions answered?

1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

Get general or claims-specific Medicare information.
If you need help in a language other than English
or Spanish, say “Agent” to talk to a customer service
representative.

TTY 1-877-486-2048
www.medicare.gov

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

Get personalized Medicare counseling at no cost to
you. See pages 129–132 for the phone number. Visit
www.medicare.gov/contacts or call 1-800-MEDICARE to
get the phone numbers of SHIPs in other states.

Social Security

Get a replacement Medicare card, change your address or
name, find out if you’re eligible for Part A and/or Part B
and how to enroll, apply for Extra Help with Medicare
prescription drug costs, ask questions about premiums,
and report a death.

1-800-772-1213

TTY 1-800-325-0778

www.socialsecurity.gov

Medicare Coordination of Benefits Contractor

Find out if Medicare or your other insurance pays first,
let Medicare know you have other insurance, or report
changes in your insurance information.

1-800-999-1118

TTY 1-800-318-8782

Department of Defense

Get information about TRICARE for Life and the
TRICARE Pharmacy Program.

1-866-773-0404 (TFL)

TTY 1-866-773-0405

1-877-363-1303 (Pharmacy)

TTY 1-877-540-6261

www.tricare.mil/mybenefit

Department of Health and Human Services

Office for Civil Rights

If you think you were discriminated against or if your
health information privacy rights were violated.

1-800-368-1019

TTY 1-800-537-7697

www.hhs.gov/ocr

Department of Veterans Affairs

If you’re a veteran or have served in the U.S. military.

1-800-827-1000

TTY 1-800-829-4833

www.va.gov

Office of Personnel Management

Get information about the Federal Employee Health
Benefits Program for current and retired federal employees.

1-888-767-6738

TTY 1-800-878-5707

www.opm.gov/insure

Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)

If you have benefits from the RRB, call them to change
your address or name, check eligibility, enroll in Medicare,
replace your Medicare card, or report a death.

1-877-772-5772

TTY 1-312-751-4701

www.rrb.gov

Quality Improvement Organization (QIO)

Ask questions or report complaints about the quality
of care for a Medicare-covered service or if you think
Medicare coverage for your service is ending too soon.
Visit www.medicare.gov/contacts or call 1-800-MEDICARE
to get the phone number of your QIO.

Section 2—
Sign Up for Medicare

How do I sign up for Part A & Part B?

Some people get Part A and Part B automatically

If you’re already getting benefits from Social Security or
the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you’ll automatically
get Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you
turn 65. (If your birthday is on the first day of the month,
Part A and Part B will start the first day of the prior month.)

If you’re under 65 and disabled, you’ll automatically get
Part A and Part B after you get disability benefits from Social
Security for 24 months or certain disability benefits from the
RRB for 24 months.

If you’re automatically enrolled,
you’ll get your red, white, and
blue Medicare card in the mail
3 months before your 65th
birthday or your 25th month of
disability benefits. If you don’t
need Part B, follow the instructions
that come with the card, and send
the card back. If you keep the
card, you keep Part B and will pay
Part B premiums. See pages 20–21
for help deciding if you need to
sign up for Part B.

If you have ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also
called Lou Gehrig’s disease), you’ll get Part A and Part B
automatically the month your disability benefits begin.

Some people have to sign up for Part A and/or Part B

If you’re close to 65, but not getting Social Security or Railroad
Retirement Board (RRB) benefits and you want Part A and Part B,
you’ll need to sign up. Contact Social Security 3 months before you turn
65. You can also apply for Part A (premium-free) and Part B (for which
you pay a monthly premium) at www.socialsecurity.gov/retirement.
If you worked for a railroad, contact the RRB.

If you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), you’ll need
to sign up. Visit your local Social Security office, or call
Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to find out when and
how to sign up for Part A and Part B. TTY users should
call 1-800-325-0778. For more information, including
when your Medicare coverage will end if you’re only
eligible for Medicare because of permanent kidney failure,
visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the booklet
“Medicare Coverage of Kidney Dialysis and Kidney
Transplant Services.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be mailed to you.
TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

If you live in Puerto Rico and get benefits from Social Security or
the RRB, you’ll automatically get Part A the first day of the month you
turn 65 or after you get disability benefits for 24 months. However,
if you want Part B, you’ll need to sign up for it. If you don’t sign
up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay a late
enrollment penalty. See page 25. Contact your local Social Security
office or RRB for more information.

Where can I get more information?

Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 for more information about your
Medicare eligibility, and to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. If you
worked for RRB or get RRB benefits, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772.

Visit www.medicare.gov for general information about enrolling.
You can also get personalized health insurance counseling at no cost
to you from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
See pages 129–132 for the phone number.

If I’m not automatically enrolled, when can I
sign up?

If you’re not eligible for premium-free Part A, you can get Part A by
paying a monthly premium. See page 24. If you want Part A and/or
Part B, you can sign up during the following times:

Initial Enrollment Period

You can sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the 7-month
period that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes
the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you
turn 65.

If you sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the first 3 months of
your Initial Enrollment Period, in most cases, your coverage starts
the first day of your birthday month. However, if your birthday is
on the first day of the month, your coverage will start the first day
of the prior month.

If you enroll in Part A and/or Part B the month you turn 65 or
during the last 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period, your
start date will be delayed.

General Enrollment Period

If you didn’t sign up for Part A and/or Part B (for which you
must pay premiums) when you were first eligible, you can sign up
between January 1–March 31 each year. Your coverage will begin
July 1. You may have to pay a higher Part A and/or Part B premium
for late enrollment. See pages 24–25.

Special Enrollment Period

If you didn’t sign up for Part A and/or Part B when you were first
eligible because you’re covered under a group health plan based on
current employment (your own, a spouse’s, or a family member’s
if you’re disabled), you can sign up for Part A and/or Part B:

¦¦Anytime you’re still covered by the group health plan.
¦¦During the 8-month period that begins the month after the
employment ends or the coverage ends, whichever happens first.

 

Remember, if
you live in Puerto
Rico, you don’t
automatically
get Part B. You
must call Social
Security at
1-800-772-1213 to
sign up for it. TTY
users should call
1-800-325-0778.

Usually, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty if you sign up during a
Special Enrollment Period. This Special Enrollment Period doesn’t apply
to people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). See page 18. You may
also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you’re a volunteer serving
in a foreign country.

COBRA and retiree health plans aren’t considered coverage based on
current employment. You’re not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period
when that coverage ends. To avoid paying a higher premium, make sure
you sign up for Medicare when you’re first eligible. See page 93 for more
information about COBRA.

To learn more details about enrollment periods, visit
www.medicare.gov/publications to view the fact sheet “Understanding
Medicare Enrollment Periods.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY users
should call 1-877-486-2048.

Should I get Part B?

The following information can help you decide.

Employer or union coverage—If you or your spouse (or family member
if you’re disabled) is still working and you have health coverage through
that employer or union, contact your employer or union benefits
administrator to find out how your coverage works with Medicare. This
includes federal or state employment, but not military service. It may be
to your advantage to delay Part B enrollment.

You can sign up for Part B without penalty any time you have health
coverage based on current employment. COBRA and retiree health
coverage don’t count as current employer coverage. See page 22 to find out
how your other insurance will work with Medicare.

Once the employment ends, 3 things happen:

1. You have 8 months to sign up for Part B without a penalty. This period
will run whether or not you choose COBRA. If you choose COBRA,
don’t wait until your COBRA ends to enroll in Part B. If you don’t
enroll in Part B during the 8 months, you may have to pay a penalty.
You won’t be able to enroll until the next General Enrollment Period
and you’ll have to wait before your coverage begins. See page 19.

 
2. You may be able to get COBRA coverage, which continues your
health insurance through the employer’s plan (in most cases for
only 18 months) and probably at a higher cost to you.
¦¦If you already have COBRA coverage when you enroll in
Medicare, your COBRA will probably end.
¦¦If you become eligible for COBRA coverage after you’re
already enrolled in Medicare, you must be allowed to take the
COBRA coverage. It will always be secondary to Medicare
(unless you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)).

 

3. When you sign up for Part B, your Medigap Open Enrollment
Period begins. See below.
TRICARE—If you have Part A and TRICARE (insurance for
active-duty military or retirees and their families), you must have
Part B to keep your TRICARE coverage. However, if you’re an
active-duty service member, or the spouse or dependent child of an
active-duty service member:

¦¦You don’t have to enroll in Part B to keep your TRICARE
coverage while the service member is on active duty.
¦¦Before the active-duty service member retires, you must enroll in
Part B to keep TRICARE without a break in coverage.
¦¦You can get Part B during a Special Enrollment Period if you have
Medicare because you’re 65 or older, or you’re disabled.
¦¦You should enroll in Part A and Part B when you’re first eligible
based on ESRD.
When can I get a Medicare Supplement
Insurance (Medigap) Policy?

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies, sold by private
insurance companies, help pay some of the health care costs that
Medicare doesn’t cover. You have a one-time 6-month Medigap
Open Enrollment Period which starts the first month you’re 65
and enrolled in Part B. This period gives you a guaranteed right to
buy any Medigap policy sold in your state regardless of your health
status. Once this period starts, it can’t be delayed or replaced.
See pages 64–67 for more information about Medigap.

How does my other insurance work with Medicare?

When you have other insurance (like employer group health coverage),
there are rules that decide whether Medicare or your other insurance pays
first.

Use this chart to see who pays first.

If you have retiree insurance
(insurance from former employment)…

Medicare pays first.

If you’re 65 or older, have group health
plan coverage based on your or your
spouse’s current employment, and the
employer has 20 or more employees…

Your group health plan
pays first.

If you’re 65 or older, have group health
plan coverage based on your or your
spouse’s current employment, and the
employer has less than 20 employees…

Medicare pays first.

If you’re under 65 and disabled, have
group health plan coverage based on
your or a family member’s current
employment, and the employer has 100
or more employees…

Your group health plan
pays first.

If you’re under 65 and disabled, have
group health plan coverage based on
your or a family member’s current
employment, and the employer has less
than 100 employees…

Medicare pays first.

If you have Medicare because of
End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)…

Your group health plan
will pay first for the first
30 months after you
become eligible to enroll
in Medicare. Medicare
will pay first after this
30-month period.

 

 

Note: In some cases, your employer may join with other employers or
unions to form a multiple employer plan. If this happens, the size of the
largest employer/union determines whether Medicare pays first or second.

Here are some important facts to remember:

¦¦The insurance that pays first (primary payer) pays up to the limits
of its coverage.
¦¦The one that pays second (secondary payer) only pays if there are
costs the primary insurer didn’t cover.
¦¦The secondary payer (which may be Medicare) may not pay all of
the uncovered costs.
¦¦If your employer insurance is the secondary payer, you may
need to enroll in Part B before your insurance will pay.
Medicare may pay second if you’re in an accident or have a workers’
compensation case in which other insurance covers your injury or
you’re suing another entity for medical expenses. In these situations
you or your lawyer should tell Medicare as soon as possible. These
types of insurance usually pay first for services related to each type:

¦¦No-fault insurance (including automobile insurance)
¦¦Liability (including automobile and self-insurance)
¦¦Black lung benefits
¦¦Workers’ compensation
Medicaid and TRICARE never pay first for services that are
covered by Medicare. They only pay after Medicare, employer group
health plans, and/or Medicare Supplement Insurance have paid.

For more information, visit www.medicare.gov/publications to
view the booklet “Medicare and Other Health Benefits: Your
Guide to Who Pays First.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY
users should call 1-877-486-2048.

If you have other insurance, tell your health care provider,
hospital, and pharmacy. If you have questions about who pays
first, or you need to update your other insurance information,
call Medicare’s Coordination of Benefits Contractor at
1-800-999-1118. TTY users should call 1-800-318-8782.
You can also contact your employer or union benefits
administrator. You may need to give your Medicare number to
your other insurers so your bills are paid correctly and on time.

 

 

How much does Part A coverage cost?

 

You usually don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage if
you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working. This is
sometimes called premium-free Part A.

If you aren’t eligible for premium-free Part A, you may be able to buy
Part A if:

¦¦You’re 65 or older, and you have (or are enrolling in) Part B and
meet the citizenship and residency requirements.
¦¦You’re under 65, disabled, and your premium-free Part A coverage
ended because you returned to work. (If you’re under 65 and
disabled, you can continue to get premium-free Part A for up to
8 1/2 years after you return to work.)
Note: In 2012, people who had to buy Part A paid up to $451
each month. Visit www.medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out the amount for 2013. TTY users should
call 1-877-486-2048.

In most cases, if you choose to buy Part A, you must also have Part B
and pay monthly premiums for both. If you have limited income
and resources, your state may help you pay for Part A and/or Part B.
See pages 99–100. Call Social Security at 1-800-772–1213 for more
information about the Part A premium. TTY users should call
1-800-325-0778.

What is the Part A late enrollment penalty?

If you aren’t eligible for premium-free Part A, and you don’t buy it
when you’re first eligible, your monthly premium may go up 10{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}.
You’ll have to pay the higher premium for twice the number of years
you could have had Part A, but didn’t sign up.

Example: If you were eligible for Part A for 2 years but didn’t
sign up, you’ll have to pay the higher premium for 4 years.
Usually, you don’t have to pay a penalty if you meet certain
conditions that allow you to sign up for Part A during a Special
Enrollment Period. See pages 19–20.

 

 

How much does Part B coverage cost?

You pay the Part B premium each month. Most people will pay the
standard premium amount, which was $99.90 in 2012. However, if your
modified adjusted gross income as reported on your IRS tax return from
2 years ago (the most recent tax return information provided to Social
Security by the IRS) is above a certain amount, you may pay more.

Your modified adjusted gross income is your adjusted gross income plus
your tax exempt interest income. Each year, Social Security will notify
you if you have to pay more than the standard premium. The amount you
pay can change each year depending on your income. If you have to pay a
higher amount for your Part B premium and you disagree (for example, if
your income goes down), call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users
should call 1-800-325-0778. If you get benefits from RRB, you should also
contact Social Security. RRB doesn’t make income determinations.

For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10536.pdf
to view the fact sheet “Medicare Premiums: Rules for Higher-Income
Beneficiaries.”

Visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to
find out the Part B premium amounts for 2013. TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048.

What is the Part B late enrollment penalty?

If you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you may have
to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare. Your
monthly premium for Part B may go up 10{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} for each full 12-month period
that you could have had Part B, but didn’t sign up for it. Usually, you don’t
pay a late enrollment penalty if you meet certain conditions that allow you
to sign up for Part B during a Special Enrollment Period. See pages 19–20.

Example: Mr. Smith’s Initial Enrollment Period ended
September 30, 2009. He waited to sign up for Part B until the
General Enrollment Period in March 2012. His Part B premium
penalty is 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}. (While Mr. Smith waited a total of 30 months to
sign up, this included only 2 full 12-month periods.)

 

 

If you have limited income and resources, see pages 99–100 for
information about help paying your Medicare premiums.
Remember, if
you live in Puerto
Rico, you don’t
automatically
get Part B. You
must call Social
Security at
1-800-772-1213 to
sign up for it. TTY
users should call
1-800-325-0778.

How can I pay my Part B premium?

If you get Social Security, RRB, or Civil Service benefits, your Part B
premium will be deducted from your benefit payment. If you don’t
get these benefit payments and choose to sign up for Part B, you’ll
get a bill. If you choose to buy Part A, you’ll always get a bill for
your premium.

You can mail your premium payments to:

Medicare Premium Collection Center
P.O. Box 790355
St. Louis, Missouri 63179-0355

If you get a bill from the RRB, mail your premium payments to:

RRB
Medicare Premium Payments
P.O. Box 979024
St. Louis, Missouri 63197-9000

If you have questions about your premiums, call Social Security at
1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.

Section X—
XXXXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXX
XX XXX
Section 3—
Find Out if Medicare Covers
Your Test, Service, or Item

What services does Medicare cover?

Medicare covers certain medical services and supplies in
hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other health care settings.
Services are either covered under Part A or Part B. If you have
both Part A and Part B, you can get all of the Medicare-covered
services listed in this section, whether you have Original
Medicare or a Medicare health plan.

What does Part A cover?

Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover:

¦¦Inpatient care in hospitals
¦¦Inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or
long-term care)
¦¦Hospice care services
¦¦Home health care services
¦¦Inpatient care in a Religious Nonmedical Health Care
Institution
You can find out if you have Part A by looking at your Medicare
card. If you have Original Medicare, you’ll use this card to get
your Medicare-covered services. If you join a Medicare health
plan, in most cases, you must use the card from the plan to get
your Medicare-covered services.

What do I pay for Part A-covered services?

Copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles may apply for each service
listed in the following chart. Visit www.medicare.gov, or call
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to get specific cost information.
TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

If you’re in a Medicare health plan or have other insurance (like
a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy, or employer
or union coverage), your costs may be different. Contact the plans
you’re interested in to find out about the costs, or visit the Medicare
Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan.

Part A-covered services

Blood

If the hospital gets blood from a blood bank at no charge, you
won’t have to pay for it or replace it. If the hospital has to buy
blood for you, you must either pay the hospital costs for the first
3 units of blood you get in a calendar year or have the blood
donated by you or someone else.

Home
health
services

Medicare covers medically-necessary part-time or intermittent
skilled nursing care, and/or physical therapy, speech-language
pathology services, and/or services for people with a continuing
need for occupational therapy. A doctor enrolled in Medicare,
or certain health care providers who work with the doctor,
must see you face-to-face before the doctor can certify that you
need home health services. That doctor must order your care
and a Medicare-certified home health agency must provide it.
Home health services may also include medical social services,
part-time or intermittent home health aide services, and
medical supplies for use at home. You must be homebound,
which means leaving home is a major effort.

¦¦You pay nothing for covered home health care services.
¦¦You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount for durable
medical equipment. See page 38.

 

 

 
Hospice
care

To qualify for hospice care, your doctor must certify that
you’re terminally ill and expected to live 6 months or less.
If you’re already getting hospice care, a hospice doctor or nurse
practitioner will need to see you about 6 months after you
enter hospice to certify that you’re still terminally ill. Coverage
includes drugs for pain relief and symptom management;
medical, nursing, and social services; certain durable medical
equipment; and other covered services, as well as services
Medicare usually doesn’t cover, like spiritual and grief
counseling. A Medicare-approved hospice usually gives hospice
care in your home or other facility where you live, like a nursing
home.

Hospice care doesn’t pay for your stay in a facility (room
and board) unless the hospice medical team determines that
you need short-term inpatient stays for pain and symptom
management that can’t be addressed at home. These stays
must be in a Medicare-approved facility, like a hospice facility,
hospital, or skilled nursing facility which contracts with the
hospice. Medicare also covers inpatient respite care which is
care you get in a Medicare-approved facility so that your usual
caregiver can rest. You can stay up to 5 days each time you get
respite care. Medicare will pay for covered services for health
problems that aren’t related to your terminal illness. You can
continue to get hospice care as long as the hospice medical
director or hospice doctor recertifies that you’re terminally ill.

¦¦You pay nothing for hospice care.
¦¦You pay a copayment of up to $5 per prescription for
outpatient prescription drugs for pain and symptom
management.
¦¦You pay 5{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount for inpatient
respite care.

 

 

 
Hospital
care
(inpatient)

Medicare covers semi-private rooms, meals, general nursing,
and drugs as part of your inpatient treatment, and other
hospital services and supplies. This includes care you get
in acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, inpatient
rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, inpatient care
as part of a qualifying clinical research study, and mental health
care. This doesn’t include private-duty nursing, a television
or phone in your room (if there’s a separate charge for these
items), or personal care items, like razors or slipper socks. It also
doesn’t include a private room, unless medically necessary.
If you have Part B, it covers the doctor’s services you get while
you’re in a hospital.

¦¦You pay a deductible and no copayment for days 1–60 each
benefit period.
¦¦You pay a copayment for days 61–90 each benefit period.
¦¦You pay a copayment per “lifetime reserve day” after day 90
each benefit period (up to 60 days over your lifetime).
¦¦You pay all costs for each day after the lifetime reserve days.
¦¦Inpatient mental health care in a psychiatric hospital is limited
to 190 days in a lifetime.
Note: Staying overnight in a hospital doesn’t always mean
you’re an inpatient. You’re considered an inpatient the day a
doctor formally admits you to a hospital with a doctor’s order.
Always ask if you’re an inpatient or an outpatient since it
affects what you pay and whether you’ll qualify for Part A
coverage in a skilled nursing facility. For more information,
visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the fact sheet “Are
You a Hospital Inpatient or Outpatient? If You Have Medicare—
Ask!” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to
find out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048.

 

 

Religious
nonmedical
health care
institution
(inpatient
care)

Medicare will only cover the non-medical, non-religious
health care items and services (like room and board) in
this type of facility if you qualify for hospital or skilled
nursing facility care, but medical care isn’t in agreement
with your religious beliefs. Only non-medical items and
services that don’t require a doctor’s order or prescription,
like unmedicated wound dressings or use of a simple walker
during your stay, are available. Medicare doesn’t cover the
religious portion of care.

Skilled
nursing
facility care

Medicare covers semi-private rooms, meals, skilled nursing
and rehabilitative services, and other medically-necessary
services and supplies after a 3-day minimum
medically-necessary inpatient hospital stay for a related
illness or injury. An inpatient hospital stay begins the day
you’re formally admitted with a doctor’s order and doesn’t
include the day you’re discharged. To qualify for care in a
skilled nursing facility, your doctor must certify that you
need daily skilled care like intravenous injections or physical
therapy. Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care or custodial
care.

¦¦You pay nothing for the first 20 days each benefit period.
¦¦You pay a coinsurance per day for days 21–100 each benefit
period.
¦¦You pay all costs for each day after day 100 in a benefit
period.
Note: Visit www.medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE to
find out what you pay for inpatient hospital stays and skilled
nursing facility care in 2013.

 

 

What does Part B cover?

Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover medically-necessary doctors’
services, outpatient care, home health services, durable medical equipment,
and other medical services. Part B also covers many preventive services.
You can find out if you have Part B by looking at your Medicare card.

Pages 33–50 include a list of common Part B-covered services and general
descriptions. Medicare may cover some services and tests more often than
the timeframes listed if needed to diagnose a condition. To find out if
Medicare covers a service not on this list, visit www.medicare.gov/coverage,
or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048. For more details about Medicare-covered services, visit
www.medicare.gov/publications to view the booklet “Your Medicare
Benefits.” Call 1-800-MEDICARE to find out if a copy can be mailed to you.

You’ll see this apple next to the preventive services on pages 33–50.
Use the preventive services checklist on page 51 to ask your doctor or
other health care provider which preventive services you should get.
What do I pay for Part B-covered services?

The alphabetical list on the following pages gives general information about
what you pay if you have Original Medicare and see doctors or other health
care providers who accept assignment

. You’ll pay more if you see doctors or
providers who don’t accept assignment. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage
Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or have other insurance, your costs may be
different. Contact your plan or benefits administrator directly to find
out about the costs.

Under Original Medicare, if the Part B deductible applies you must pay all
costs until you meet the yearly Part B deductible before Medicare begins to
pay its share. Then, after your deductible is met, you typically pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of
the Medicare-approved amount of the service, if the doctor or other health
care provider accepts assignment. There’s no yearly limit for what you pay
out-of-pocket. Visit www.medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE to get
specific cost information.

You pay nothing for most preventive services if you get the services from
a doctor or other qualified health care provider who accepts assignment.
However, for some preventive services, you may have to pay a deductible,
coinsurance, or both.

See pages 60–61 for more information about assignment.

What does Part B cover?

Abdominal
aortic
aneurysm
screening

Medicare covers a one-time screening abdominal aortic
aneurysm ultrasound for people at risk. You must get a
referral for it as part of your one-time “Welcome to Medicare”
preventive visit. See page 50. You pay nothing for the screening
if the doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts
assignment.

Alcohol
misuse
counseling

Medicare covers 1 alcohol misuse screening per year for adults
with Medicare (including pregnant women) who use alcohol,
but don’t meet the medical criteria for alcohol dependency. If
your primary care doctor or other primary care practitioner
determines you’re misusing alcohol, you can get up to 4 brief
face-to-face counseling sessions per year (if you’re competent
and alert during counseling). A qualified primary care doctor
or other primary care practitioner must provide the counseling
in a primary care setting (like a doctor’s office). You pay nothing
if the qualified primary care doctor or other primary care
practitioner accepts assignment.

Ambulance
services

Medicare covers ground ambulance transportation when you
need to be transported to a hospital, critical access hospital, or
skilled nursing facility for medically-necessary services, and
transportation in any other vehicle could endanger your health.
Medicare may pay for emergency ambulance transportation in
an airplane or helicopter to a hospital if you need immediate
and rapid ambulance transportation that ground transportation
can’t provide.

In some cases, Medicare may pay for limited non-emergency
ambulance transportation if you have a written order from
your doctor stating that ambulance transportation is necessary
due to your medical condition. Medicare will only cover
ambulance services to the nearest appropriate medical facility
that’s able to give you the care you need. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies.

 

 

Ambulatory
surgical centers

Medicare covers the facility fees for approved surgical
procedures in an ambulatory surgical center (facility where
surgical procedures are performed, and the patient is expected
to be released within 24 hours). Except for certain preventive
services (for which you pay nothing), you pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
Medicare-approved amount to both the ambulatory surgical
center and the doctor who treats you, and the Part B deductible
applies. You pay all facility fees for procedures Medicare doesn’t
cover in ambulatory surgical centers.

Blood

If the provider gets blood from a blood bank at no charge,
you won’t have to pay for it or replace it. However, you’ll pay a
copayment for the blood processing and handling services for
every unit of blood you get, and the Part B deductible applies.
If the provider has to buy blood for you, you must either pay the
provider costs for the first 3 units of blood you get in a calendar
year or have the blood donated by you or someone else.

Bone mass
measurement
(bone density)

This test helps to see if you’re at risk for broken bones. It’s
covered once every 24 months (more often if medically
necessary) for people who have certain medical conditions or
meet certain criteria. You pay nothing for this test if the doctor
or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment.

Breast cancer
screening
(mammograms)

Medicare covers screening mammograms to check for breast
cancer once every 12 months for all women with Medicare 40
and older. Medicare covers 1 baseline mammogram for women
between 35–39. You pay nothing for the test if the doctor or
other qualified health care provider accepts assignment.

Cardiac
rehabilitation

Medicare covers comprehensive programs that include exercise,
education, and counseling for patients who meet certain
conditions. Medicare also covers intensive cardiac rehabilitation
programs that are typically more rigorous or more intense than
regular cardiac rehabilitation programs. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
Medicare-approved amount if you get the services in a doctor’s
office. In a hospital outpatient setting, you also pay the hospital
a copayment. The Part B deductible applies.

 

 

Cardiovascular
disease
(behavioral
therapy)

Medicare will cover 1 visit per year with your primary care doctor
in a primary care setting (like a doctor’s office) to help lower your
risk for cardiovascular disease. During this visit, your doctor may
discuss aspirin use (if appropriate), check your blood pressure, and
give you tips to make sure you’re eating well. You pay nothing if the
doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment.

Cardiovascular
screenings

These screenings include blood tests that help detect conditions
that may lead to a heart attack or stroke. Medicare covers these
screening tests every 5 years to test your cholesterol, lipid,
lipoprotein, and triglyceride levels. You pay nothing for the tests,
but you generally have to pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved
amount for the doctor’s visit.

Cervical and
vaginal cancer
screening

Medicare covers Pap tests and pelvic exams to check for cervical
and vaginal cancers. As part of the exam, Medicare also covers a
clinical breast exam to check for breast cancer. Medicare covers
these screening tests once every 24 months. Medicare covers these
screening tests once every 12 months if you’re at high risk for
cervical or vaginal cancer or if you’re of child-bearing age and had
an abnormal Pap test in the past 36 months. You pay nothing if the
doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment.

Chemotherapy

Medicare covers chemotherapy in a doctor’s office, freestanding
clinic, or hospital outpatient setting for people with cancer. For
chemotherapy given in a doctor’s office or freestanding clinic,
you pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount. If you get
chemotherapy in a hospital outpatient setting, you pay a copayment
for the treatment. For chemotherapy in a hospital inpatient setting
covered under Part A, see Hospital Care (Inpatient) on page 30.

Chiropractic
services
(limited)

Medicare covers these services to help correct a subluxation (when
1 or more of the bones of your spine move out of position) using
manipulation of the spine. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved
amount, and the Part B deductible applies.

Note: You pay all costs for any other services or tests ordered by a
chiropractor (including X-rays and massage therapy).

 

 

Clinical
research
studies

Clinical research studies test how well different types of medical
care work and if they’re safe. Medicare covers some costs, like
office visits and tests, in qualifying clinical research studies.
You may pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount, and the
Part B deductible may apply.

Note: If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or
PPO), some costs may be covered by Medicare and some may be
covered by your plan.

Colorectal
cancer
screenings

Medicare covers these screenings to help find precancerous
growths or find cancer early, when treatment is most effective.
One or more of the following tests may be covered:

¦¦Fecal occult blood test—This test is covered once every 12
months if you’re 50 or older. You pay nothing for the test if
the doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts
assignment.
¦¦Flexible sigmoidoscopy—This test is generally covered once
every 48 months if you’re 50 or older, or 120 months after a
previous screening colonoscopy for those not at high risk.
You pay nothing for the test if the doctor or other qualified
health care provider accepts assignment.
¦¦Colonoscopy—This test is generally covered once every 120
months (high risk every 24 months) or 48 months after a
previous flexible sigmoidoscopy. There is no minimum age.
You pay nothing for the test if the doctor or other qualified
health care provider accepts assignment. Note: If a polyp or
other tissue is found and removed during the colonoscopy, you
may have to pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount for
the doctor’s services and a copayment in a hospital outpatient
setting.
¦¦Barium enema—This test is generally covered once every 48
months if you’re 50 or older (high risk every 24 months) when
used instead of a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}
of the Medicare-approved amount for the doctor services.
In a hospital outpatient setting, you also pay the hospital a
copayment.

 

 

 
Defibrillator
(implantable
automatic)

Medicare covers these devices for some people diagnosed with heart
failure. If the surgery takes place in an outpatient setting, you pay
20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount for the doctor’s services.
If you get the device as a hospital outpatient, you also pay the hospital
a copayment, but no more than the Part A hospital stay deductible.
The Part B deductible applies. Surgeries to implant defibrillators in a
hospital inpatient setting are covered under Part A.

Depression
screening

Medicare covers 1 depression screening per year. The screening must be
done in a primary care setting (like a doctor’s office) that can provide
follow-up treatment and referrals. You pay nothing for this test if the
doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment, but
you generally have to pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount for
the doctor’s visit.

Diabetes
screenings

Medicare covers these screenings if your doctor determines you’re at
risk for diabetes. You may be eligible for up to 2 diabetes screenings
each year. You pay nothing for the test if your doctor or other qualified
health care provider accepts assignment.

Diabetes self-
management
training

Medicare covers a program to help people cope with and manage
diabetes. The program may include tips for eating healthy, being active,
monitoring blood sugar, taking medication, and reducing risks. You
must have diabetes and a written order from your doctor or other
health care provider. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount,
and the Part B deductible applies.

Diabetes
supplies

Medicare covers blood sugar testing monitors, blood sugar test
strips, lancet devices and lancets, blood sugar control solutions, and
therapeutic shoes (in some cases). Medicare only covers insulin if used
with an external insulin pump. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved
amount, and the Part B deductible applies.

Note: Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) may cover insulin,
certain medical supplies used to inject insulin (like syringes), and some
oral diabetic drugs.

If you live in a Durable Medical Equipment (DME) competitive bidding
area (see page 38), and get your diabetes supplies by mail, the amount
you pay may change starting in January 2013. From January through
June 2013, you can get your supplies from any supplier. Starting in July
2013, you’ll need to use a Medicare contract supplier for Medicare to
pay for your mail order diabetic testing supplies. This national mail
order program will help save you money.

 

 

Doctor
and other
health care
provider
services

Medicare covers medically-necessary doctor services (including
outpatient and some doctor services you get when you’re a hospital
inpatient) and covered preventive services. Medicare also covers
services provided by other health care providers, like physician
assistants, nurse practitioners, social workers, physical therapists, and
psychologists. Except for certain preventive services (for which you
may pay nothing), you pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount,
and the Part B deductible applies.

Durable
medical
equipment
(DME) (like
walkers)

Medicare covers items like oxygen equipment and supplies,
wheelchairs, walkers, and hospital beds ordered by a doctor or other
health care provider enrolled in Medicare for use in the home.
Some items must be rented. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved
amount, and the Part B deductible applies. In all areas of the
country, you must get your covered equipment or supplies and
replacement or repair services from a Medicare-approved supplier
for Medicare to pay.

For more information, visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view
the booklet “Medicare Coverage of Durable Medical Equipment
and Other Devices.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY
users should call 1-877-486-2048.

DME Competitive Bidding Program: To get certain items in
some areas of the country, you must use specific suppliers called
“contract suppliers,” or Medicare won’t pay for the item and you
likely will pay full price.

This program is effective in certain areas in these states: California,
Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. If you need durable medical
equipment or supplies, visit www.medicare.gov/supplier to find
Medicare-approved suppliers. If your ZIP code is in a competitive
bidding area, the items included in the program are marked with an
orange star. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE.

The program is scheduled to expand to 91 more areas around the
country in July 2013. Medicare will provide more information before
changes occur in those areas.

 

 

EKG
(electrocardiogram)
screening

Medicare covers a one-time screening EKG if referred
by your doctor or other health care provider as part of
your one-time “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit.
See page 50. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved
amount. An EKG is also covered as a diagnostic test.
See page 47. If you have the test at a hospital or a hospital
owned clinic, you also pay the hospital a copayment.

Emergency
department
services

These services are covered when you have an injury,
a sudden illness, or an illness that quickly gets much
worse. You pay a specified copayment for the hospital
emergency department visit, and you pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
Medicare-approved amount for the doctor’s or other
health care provider’s services. The Part B deductible
applies. However, your costs may be different if you’re
admitted to the hospital.

Eyeglasses (limited)

Medicare covers 1 pair of eyeglasses with standard
frames (or 1 set of contact lenses) after cataract surgery
that implants an intraocular lens. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible
applies.

Federally-qualified
health center
services

Medicare covers many outpatient primary care and
preventive services you get through certain community-
based organizations. Generally, you pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
charges. You pay nothing for most preventive services.

Flu shots

Medicare generally covers flu shots once per flu season
in the fall or winter. You pay nothing for getting the flu
shot if the doctor or other qualified health care provider
accepts assignment for giving the shot.

Foot exams and
treatment

Medicare covers foot exams and treatment if you have
diabetes-related nerve damage and/or meet certain
conditions. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved
amount, and the Part B deductible applies. In a hospital
outpatient setting, you also pay the hospital a copayment.

 

 

Glaucoma
tests

These tests are covered once every 12 months for people
at high risk for the eye disease glaucoma. You’re at high
risk if you have diabetes, a family history of glaucoma, are
African-American and 50 or older, or are Hispanic and 65 or
older. An eye doctor who is legally allowed by the state must
do the tests. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount,
and the Part B deductible applies for the doctor’s visit. In
a hospital outpatient setting, you also pay the hospital a
copayment.

Hearing
and balance
exams

Medicare covers these exams if your doctor or other health
care provider orders them to see if you need medical
treatment. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount,
and the Part B deductible applies. In a hospital outpatient
setting, you also pay the hospital a copayment.

Note: Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids or exams for
fitting hearing aids.

Hepatitis B
shots

Medicare covers these shots for people at high or medium
risk for Hepatitis B. You pay nothing for the shot if the doctor
or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment.

HIV
screening

Medicare covers HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
screenings for people at increased risk for the virus, anyone
who asks for the test, and pregnant women. Medicare covers
this test once every 12 months or up to 3 times during
a pregnancy. You pay nothing for the HIV screening if
the doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts
assignment.

 

 

Home health
services

Medicare covers medically-necessary part-time or
intermittent skilled nursing care, and/or physical
therapy, speech-language pathology services,
and/or services for people with a continuing need for
occupational therapy. A doctor enrolled in Medicare, or
certain health care providers who work with the doctor,
must see you face-to-face before the doctor can certify
that you need home health services. That doctor must
order your care, and a Medicare-certified home health
agency must provide it.

Home health services may also include medical social
services, part-time or intermittent home health aide
services, durable medical equipment, and medical
supplies for use at home. You must be homebound,
which means leaving home is a major effort. You
pay nothing for covered home health services. For
Medicare-covered durable medical equipment
information, see page 38.

Kidney dialysis
services and
supplies

Generally, Medicare covers dialysis treatment 3 times
a week if you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
This includes dialysis drugs, laboratory tests, home
dialysis training, and related equipment and supplies.
The dialysis facility is responsible for coordinating
your dialysis services (at home or in a facility). You pay
20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B
deductible applies.

Kidney disease
education
services

Medicare covers up to 6 sessions of kidney disease
education services if you have Stage IV kidney disease,
and your doctor or other health care provider refers you
for the service. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved
amount, and the Part B deductible applies.

Laboratory
services

Medicare covers laboratory services including certain
blood tests, urinalysis, and some screening tests. You
pay nothing for these services if the doctor or other
health care provider accepts assignment.

 

 

Medical
nutrition
therapy
services

Medicare may cover medical nutrition therapy and certain
related services if you have diabetes or kidney disease, or you
have had a kidney transplant in the last 36 months, and your
doctor or other health care provider refers you for the service.
You pay nothing for these services if the doctor or other
qualified health care provider accepts assignment.

Mental
health care
(outpatient)

Medicare covers mental health care services to help with
conditions like depression or anxiety. Coverage includes
services generally provided in an outpatient setting (like
a doctor’s or other health care provider’s office or hospital
outpatient department), including visits with a psychiatrist
or other doctor, clinical psychologist, nurse practitioner,
physician assistant, clinical nurse specialist, or clinical social
worker; certain treatment for substance abuse; and lab tests.
Certain limits and conditions apply.

What you pay will depend on whether you’re being diagnosed
and monitored or whether you’re getting treatment.

¦¦For visits to a doctor or other health care provider
to diagnose your condition, you pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
Medicare-approved amount.
¦¦Generally, for outpatient treatment of your condition
(like counseling or psychotherapy), you pay 35{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
Medicare-approved amount. This coinsurance amount will
decrease to 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} in 2014.
The Part B deductible applies for both visits to diagnose or
treat your condition.

Note: Inpatient mental health care is covered under Part A.
See Hospital care (inpatient) on pages 30.

 

 

Obesity
screening and
counseling

If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, Medicare
covers intensive counseling to help you lose weight. This
counseling may be covered if you get it in a primary care
setting (like a doctor’s office), where it can be coordinated
with your personalized prevention plan. Talk to your primary
care doctor or primary care practitioner to find out more. You
pay nothing for this service if the primary care doctor or other
qualified primary care practitioner accepts assignment.

Occupational
therapy

Medicare covers evaluation and treatment to help you
perform activities of daily living (like dressing or bathing)
after an illness or accident when your doctor or other health
care provider certifies you need it. There may be a limit on the
amount Medicare will pay for these services in a single year
and there may be certain exceptions to these limits. You pay
20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B
deductible applies.

Outpatient
hospital
services

Medicare covers many diagnostic and treatment services in
participating hospital outpatient departments. Generally, you
pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount for the doctor’s
or other health care provider’s services. You may pay more
for services you get in a hospital outpatient setting than you’ll
pay for the same care in a doctor’s office. In addition to the
amount you pay the doctor, you’ll usually pay the hospital a
copayment for each service you get in a hospital outpatient
setting, except for certain preventive services for which there’s
no copayment. The copayment can’t be more than the Part A
hospital stay deductible. The Part B deductible applies, except
for certain preventive services.

Outpatient
medical
and surgical
services and
supplies

Medicare covers approved procedures like X-rays, casts, or
stitches. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount
for the doctor’s or other health care provider’s services.
You generally pay the hospital a copayment for each service
you get in a hospital outpatient setting. For each service,
the copayment can’t be more than the Part A hospital stay
deductible. The Part B deductible applies, and you pay all
charges for items or services that Medicare doesn’t cover.

 

 

Physical
therapy

Medicare covers evaluation and treatment for injuries and
diseases that change your ability to function when your doctor
or other health care provider certifies your need for it. There may
be a limit on the amount Medicare will pay for these services in
a single year and there may be certain exceptions to these limits.
You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B
deductible applies.

Pneumococcal
shot

Medicare covers pneumococcal shots to help prevent
pneumococcal infections (like certain types of pneumonia).
Most people only need this shot once in their lifetime. Talk with
your doctor or other health care provider to see if you should get
this shot. You pay nothing if the doctor or other qualified health
care provider accepts assignment for giving the shot.

Prescription
drugs (limited)

Medicare covers a limited number of drugs like injections you
get in a doctor’s office, certain oral cancer drugs, drugs used with
some types of durable medical equipment (like a nebulizer or
external infusion pump), and under very limited circumstances,
certain drugs you get in a hospital outpatient setting. You pay
20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount for these covered drugs
and the Part B deductible applies.

If the covered drugs you get in a hospital outpatient setting are
part of your outpatient services, you pay the copayment for the
services. However, other types of drugs in a hospital outpatient
setting (sometimes called “self-administered drugs” or drugs
you would normally take on your own), aren’t covered by Part B.
What you pay depends on whether you have Part D or other
prescription drug coverage, whether your drug plan covers the
drug, and whether the hospital’s pharmacy is in your drug plan’s
network. Contact your prescription drug plan to find out what
you pay for drugs you get in a hospital outpatient setting that
aren’t covered under Part B. See page 91 for more information.

Other than the examples above, you pay 100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} for most
prescription drugs, unless you have Part D or other drug
coverage.

 

 

Prostate cancer
screenings

Medicare covers a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test and
a digital rectal exam once every 12 months for men over 50
(beginning the day after your 50th birthday). You pay nothing for
the PSA test if the doctor or other health care provider accepts
assignment. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount,
and the Part B deductible applies for the digital rectal exam. In a
hospital outpatient setting, you also pay the hospital a copayment.

Prosthetic/
orthotic items

Medicare covers arm, leg, back, and neck braces; artificial eyes;
artificial limbs (and their replacement parts); some types of breast
prostheses (after mastectomy); and prosthetic devices needed
to replace an internal body part or function (including ostomy
supplies, and parenteral and enteral nutrition therapy) when
ordered by a doctor or other health care provider enrolled in
Medicare. For Medicare to cover your prosthetic or orthotic, you
must go to a supplier that’s enrolled in Medicare. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}
of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible
applies.

DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program: To get enteral nutrition
therapy in some areas of the country, you must use specific
suppliers called “contract suppliers,” or Medicare won’t pay and
you’ll likely pay full price. See page 38 for more information.

Pulmonary
rehabilitation

Medicare covers a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation
program if you have moderate to very severe chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD) and have a referral from the doctor
treating this chronic respiratory disease. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
Medicare-approved amount if you get the service in a doctor’s
office. You also pay the hospital a copayment per session if
you get the service in a hospital outpatient setting. The Part B
deductible applies.

Rural health
clinic services

Medicare covers many outpatient primary care and preventive
services in rural health clinics. Generally, you pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
charges, and the Part B deductible applies. However, you pay
nothing for most preventive services.

 

 

Second
surgical
opinions

Medicare covers second surgical opinions in some cases for
surgery that isn’t an emergency. In some cases, Medicare
covers third surgical opinions. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-
approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies.

Sexually
transmitted
infections
screening and
counseling

Medicare covers sexually transmitted infection (STI)
screenings for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and/or
Hepatitis B. These screenings are covered for people with
Medicare who are pregnant and/or for certain people who
are at increased risk for an STI when the tests are ordered
by a primary care doctor or other primary care practitioner.
Medicare covers these tests once every 12 months or at
certain times during pregnancy.

Medicare also covers up to 2 individual 20 to 30 minute,
face-to-face, high-intensity behavioral counseling sessions
each year for sexually-active adults at increased risk for STIs.
Medicare will only cover these counseling sessions if they
are provided by a primary care doctor or other primary care
practitioner and take place in a primary care setting (like a
doctor’s office). Counseling conducted in an inpatient setting,
like a skilled nursing facility, won’t be covered as a preventive
service.

You pay nothing for these services if the primary care
doctor or other qualified primary care practitioner accepts
assignment.

Speech-
language
pathology
services

Medicare covers evaluation and treatment given to regain
and strengthen speech and language skills, including
cognitive and swallowing skills, when your doctor or other
health care provider certifies you need it. There may be a
limit on the amount Medicare will pay for these services in
a single year, and there may be certain exceptions to these
limits. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount, and
the Part B deductible applies.

 

 

Surgical
dressing
services

Medicare covers these services for treatment of a surgical
or surgically-treated wound. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-
approved amount for the doctor’s or other health care
provider’s services. You pay a fixed copayment for these
services when you get them in a hospital outpatient setting.
You pay nothing for the supplies. The Part B deductible
applies.

Telehealth

Medicare covers limited medical or other health services,
like office visits and consultations provided using an
interactive two-way telecommunications system (like real-
time audio and video) by an eligible provider who isn’t at
your location. These services are available in some rural
areas, under certain conditions, and only if you’re located at
one of the following places: a doctor’s office, hospital, rural
health clinic, federally-qualified health center, hospital-
based dialysis facility, skilled nursing facility, or community
mental health center. For most of these services, you pay
20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B
deductible applies.

Tests (other
than lab
tests)

Medicare covers X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, EKGs, and some
other diagnostic tests. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-
approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies. If you
get the test at a hospital as an outpatient, you also pay the
hospital a copayment that may be more than 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
Medicare-approved amount, but it can’t be more than the
Part A hospital stay deductible. See Laboratory services on
page 41 for other Part B-covered tests.

 

 

Tobacco use
cessation
counseling

If you use tobacco and you’re diagnosed with an illness
caused or complicated by tobacco use, or you take a
medicine that’s affected by tobacco, Medicare covers up to
8 face-to-face visits in a 12-month period. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of
the Medicare-approved amount, and the Part B deductible
applies. In a hospital outpatient setting, you also pay the
hospital a copayment.

If you haven’t been diagnosed with an illness caused or
complicated by tobacco use, Medicare coverage of tobacco
use cessation counseling is considered a covered preventive
service. You pay nothing for the counseling sessions if
the doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts
assignment.

Transplants and
immunosuppressive
drugs

Medicare covers doctor services for heart, lung, kidney, pancreas,
intestine, and liver transplants under certain conditions and only
in a Medicare-certified facility. Medicare covers bone marrow
and cornea transplants under certain conditions.

Medicare covers immunosuppressive drugs if the transplant
was eligible for Medicare payment, or an employer or union
group health plan was required to pay before Medicare paid
for the transplant. You must have Part A at the time of the
transplant, and you must have Part B at the time you get
immunosuppressive drugs. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-
approved amount, and the Part B deductible applies.

If you’re thinking about joining a Medicare Advantage Plan
(like an HMO or PPO) and are on a transplant waiting list or
believe you need a transplant, check with the plan before you
join to make sure your doctors, other health care providers,
and hospitals are in the plan’s network. Also, check the plan’s
coverage rules for prior authorization.

Note: Medicare drug plans (Part D) may cover
immunosuppressive drugs, even if Medicare or an employer
or union group health plan didn’t pay for the transplant.

You pay nothing for these services if the doctor or health care
provider accepts assignment.

 

 

Travel
(health care
needed
when
traveling
outside
the United
States)

Medicare generally doesn’t cover health care while you’re
traveling outside the U.S. (the “U.S.” includes the 50
states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S.
Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and
American Samoa). There are some exceptions, including
some cases where Medicare may pay for services that you
get while on board a ship within the territorial waters
adjoining the land areas of the U.S. Medicare may pay for
inpatient hospital, doctor, or ambulance services you get in a
foreign country in these rare cases:

1. You’re in the U.S. when an emergency occurs and the
foreign hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital
that can treat your medical condition.
2. You’re traveling through Canada without unreasonable
delay by the most direct route between Alaska and
another state when a medical emergency occurs and the
Canadian hospital is closer than the nearest U.S. hospital
that can treat the emergency.
3. You live in the U.S. and the foreign hospital is closer
to your home than the nearest U.S. hospital that can
treat your medical condition, regardless of whether an
emergency exists.
Medicare may cover medically-necessary ambulance
transportation to a foreign hospital only with admission for
medically-necessary covered inpatient hospital services.

You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Medicare-approved amount, and the
Part B deductible applies.

Urgently-
needed care

Medicare covers urgently-needed care to treat a sudden
illness or injury that isn’t a medical emergency. You pay 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}
of the Medicare-approved amount for the doctor’s or other
health care provider’s services, and the Part B deductible
applies. In a hospital outpatient setting, you also pay the
hospital a copayment.

 

 

“Welcome to
Medicare”
preventive visit

During the first 12 months that you have Part B, you can get
a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit. This visit includes
a review of your medical and social history related to your
health and education and counseling about preventive
services, including certain screenings, shots, and referrals for
other care if needed. When you make your appointment, let
your doctor’s office know that you would like to schedule your
“Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit.

You pay nothing for the “Welcome to Medicare” preventive
visit if the doctor or other qualified health care provider
accepts assignment.*

Yearly “Wellness”
visit

If you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get
a yearly “Wellness” visit to develop or update a personalized
plan to prevent disease based on your current health and risk
factors. This visit is covered once every 12 months.

Your provider will ask you to fill out a short questionnaire,
called a Health Risk Assessment, as part of this visit.
Answering these questions can help you and your provider
develop a personalized prevention plan to help you stay
healthy and get the most out of your visit. The questions
are based on years of medical research and advice from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Note: Your first yearly “Wellness” visit can’t take place within
12 months of your enrollment in Part B or your “Welcome to
Medicare” visit. However, you don’t need to have a “Welcome
to Medicare” visit before your yearly “Wellness” visit.

You pay nothing for the yearly “Wellness” visit if the doctor or
other qualified health care provider accepts assignment.*

 

 

*If your doctor or other health care provider performs
additional tests or services during the same visit that aren’t
covered under these preventive benefits, you may have to pay
coinsurance, and the Part B deductible may apply.

Want to keep track of your preventive services?

Medicare now covers more preventive services to help you stay
healthy. Talk with your health care provider about which of these
services are right for you. Medicare coverage of preventive services
can change at any time. To learn more about new services that may
be available to you at no cost, visit www.medicare.gov. You can also
call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048.

Page

Medicare-covered
preventive service

I need
(yes/no)

50

“Welcome to Medicare”
preventive visit (one-time)

 

50

Yearly “Wellness” visit

 

33

Abdominal aortic
aneurysm screening

 

33

Alcohol misuse counseling

34

Bone mass measurement

 

34

Breast cancer screening
(mammogram)

35

Cardiovascular disease
(behavioral therapy)

35

Cardiovascular screenings

 

35

Cervical and vaginal cancer
screening

36

Colorectal cancer
screenings

 

Fecal occult blood test

 

Flexible sigmoidoscopy

 

Colonoscopy

 

Barium enema

 

Page

Medicare-covered
preventive service

I need
(yes/no)

37

Depression screening

37

Diabetes screenings

 

37

Diabetes self-management
training

 

39

Flu shots

 

40

Glaucoma tests

 

40

Hepatitis B shots

 

40

HIV screening

 

42

Medical nutrition therapy
services

 

43

Obesity screening and
counseling

44

Pneumococcal shot

 

45

Prostate cancer screenings

46

Sexually transmitted
infections screening and
counseling

48

Tobacco use cessation
counseling (counseling
for people with no sign of
tobacco-related disease)

 

 

 
What’s NOT covered by Part A & Part B?

Medicare doesn’t cover everything. If you need certain services
that Medicare doesn’t cover, you’ll have to pay for them yourself
unless:

¦¦You have other insurance (or Medicaid) to cover the costs.
¦¦You’re in a Medicare health plan that covers these services.
Even if Medicare covers a service or item, you generally have to pay
deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.

Some of the items and services that Medicare doesn’t cover include:

¦¦Long-term care (also called custodial care). See pages 117–120.
¦¦Routine dental or eye care.
¦¦Dentures.
¦¦Cosmetic surgery.
¦¦Acupuncture.
¦¦Hearing aids and exams for fitting them.
If you have Original Medicare, visit www.medicare.gov/coverage,
or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to find out if Medicare
covers a service you need. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
If you’re in a Medicare health plan, contact your plan.

If you have a question or complaint about the quality of a
Medicare-covered service, call your local Quality Improvement
Organization (QIO). Visit www.medicare.gov/contacts to get your
QIO’s phone number. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE.

Note: To get Medicare-covered Part A and/or Part B services, you
must be a U.S. citizen or be lawfully present in the U.S.

Section 4—
Choose Your Health &
Prescription Drug Coverage

This handbook has basic information. You’ll need more
detailed information than this handbook provides to
make an informed choice. Before making any decisions,
learn as much as you can about the types of coverage
available to you.

How can I get my Medicare coverage?

You can choose different ways to get your Medicare
coverage.

1. You can choose Original Medicare and if you want
prescription drug coverage, you must join a Medicare
Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
2. You can choose to join a Medicare health plan, and
the plan may include Medicare prescription drug
coverage. In most cases, you must take the drug
coverage that comes with the Medicare health plan.
If you don’t join a Medicare health plan, you’ll
have Original Medicare. See the next page for more
information about your coverage choices, and the
decisions you need to make.

Each fall, you should review your health and prescription
needs because your health, finances, or plan’s coverage
may have changed. If you decide other coverage will
better meet your needs, you can switch plans between
October 15–December 7. See pages 76–77 and 82–83. If
you’re satisfied with your current plan’s coverage for the
following year, you don’t need to do anything.

This is an image of the medicare.gov web site showing an example of the comparison between 2 Medicare Plans.
What if I need help deciding how to get my
Medicare?

1. Visit the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan
to find and compare plans in your area. Medicare Plan Finder
lets you compare plans by plan type and find out what your
estimated costs would be in each plan. Here’s an example of what
you may see when using this tool:
2. Get personalized counseling about choosing coverage. See
pages 129–132 for the phone number of your State Health
Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
3. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), and say “Agent.”
TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. If you need help in a
language other than English or Spanish, let the customer service
representative know.

 
Note: If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan,
you can’t use Medicare Supplement Insurance
(Medigap) to pay for out-of-pocket costs you
have in the Medicare Advantage Plan. If you
already have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you
can’t be sold a Medigap policy. You can only
use a Medigap policy if you disenroll from
your Medicare Advantage Plan and return to
Original Medicare. See page 67.

Step One. Decide if you want Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO).
Original Medicare includes Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Part B (Medical Insurance).
Medicare provides this coverage directly.
You have your choice of doctors, hospitals, and other providers that accept Medicare.
Generally, you or your supplemental coverage pay deductibles and coinsurance.
You usually pay a monthly premium for Part B.
See pages 57 through 63 for more information about Original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO or PPO) also called Part C includes both Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).
Private insurance companies approved by Medicare provide this coverage.
In most plans, you need to use plan doctors, hospitals, and other providers or you may pay more or all of the costs.
You usually pay a monthly premium (in addition to your Part B premium) and a copayment or coinsurance for covered services.
Costs, extra coverage, and rules vary by plan.
See pages 68 through 78 for more information about Medicare Advantage Plans.
Step Two. Decide if you want prescription drug coverage Part D.
If you choose Original Medicare and you want drug coverage, you must join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. You usually pay a monthly premium.
These plans are run by private companies approved by Medicare.
See pages 81 through 94 for more information about Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
If you choose a Medicare Advantage Plan and you want drug coverage, and its offered by your plan, in most cases you must get it through your Plan.
In some types of plans that don’t offer drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
See pages 74 through 75 for more information about prescription drug coverage in different types of Medicare Advantage Plans.
Step Three. Decide if you want supplemental coverage.
If you choose Original Medicare, you may want to get coverage that fills gaps in Original Medicare coverage. You can choose to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy from a private company.
Costs vary by policy and company.
Employers and/or unions may offer similar coverage.
See pages 64 through 67.
In addition to the options listed above, you may be able to join other types of Medicare health
plans. See pages 79–80. Some people may have other coverage like employer or union, Medicaid,
military, or Veterans’ benefits. See pages 100–101 and 93–94.
What are my Medicare coverage choices?

There are 2 main choices for how you get your Medicare coverage.
Use these steps to help you decide.

What should I consider when choosing or changing my
coverage?

Coverage

Does the plan cover the services you need?

Your other
coverage

Do you have, or are you eligible for, other types of health or
prescription drug coverage (like from a former or current
employer or union)? If so, read the materials from your insurer or
plan, or call them to find out how the coverage works with, or is
affected by, Medicare. If you have coverage through a former or
current employer or union or other source, talk to your benefits
administrator, insurer, or plan before making any changes to your
coverage. If you drop your coverage, you may not be able to get it
back.

Cost

How much are your premiums, deductibles, and other costs? How
much do you pay for services like hospital stays or doctor visits? Is
there a yearly limit on what you pay out-of-pocket? Your costs vary
and may be different if you don’t follow the coverage rules.

Doctor and
hospital
choice

Do your doctors and other health care providers accept the
coverage? Are the doctors you want to see accepting new patients?
Do you have to choose your hospital and health care providers
from a network? Do you need to get referrals?

Prescription
drugs

Do you need to join a Medicare drug plan? Do you already have
creditable prescription drug coverage? Will you pay a penalty if
you join a drug plan later? How much will you have to pay for your
prescription drugs under each plan? Are your drugs covered under
the plan’s formulary? Are there any coverage rules that apply to
your prescriptions? Is the pharmacy you use in the plan’s network?

Quality of
care

Are you satisfied with your medical care? The quality of care and
services given by plans and other health care providers can vary.
Medicare has information to help you compare how well plans and
providers work to give you the best care possible. See page 124.

Convenience

Where are the doctors’ offices? What are their hours? Which
pharmacies can you use? Can you get your prescriptions by
mail? Do the doctors use electronic health records or prescribe
electronically? Can you get an electronic copy of your information
by email or to store in a personal health record? See page 125.

Travel

Will you have coverage in another state or outside the U.S.?

 

 

Section 5—
Get Information about Your
Medicare Health Coverage
Choices

How does Original Medicare work?

Original Medicare is one of your health coverage choices
as part of Medicare. You’ll have Original Medicare unless
you choose a Medicare health plan.

Original Medicare is coverage managed by the federal
government. Generally, there’s a cost for each service.
See the next page for the general rules for how it works.

Original Medicare

Can I get my health
care from any doctor,
other health care
provider, or hospital?

In most cases, yes. You can go to any doctor, other
health care provider, hospital, or other facility
that’s enrolled in Medicare and accepting new
Medicare patients.

Are prescription drugs
covered?

With a few exceptions (see pages 30 and 44), most
prescriptions aren’t covered. You can add drug
coverage by joining a Medicare Prescription Drug
Plan (Part D).

Do I need to choose a
primary care doctor?

No.

Do I have to get
a referral to see a
specialist?

In most cases no, but the specialist must be
enrolled in Medicare.

Should I get a
supplemental policy?

You may already have employer or union coverage
that may pay costs that Original Medicare
doesn’t. If not, you may want to buy a Medicare
Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy. See pages
64–67.

What else do I need to
know about Original
Medicare?

¦¦You generally pay a set amount for your health
care (deductible) before Medicare pays its share.
Then, Medicare pays its share, and you pay your
share (coinsurance/copayment) for covered
services and supplies. There’s no yearly limit for
what you pay out-of-pocket.
¦¦You usually pay a monthly premium for Part B.
See pages 99–100 for information about help
paying your Part B premium.
¦¦You generally don’t need to file Medicare
claims. The law requires providers (like doctors,
hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home
health agencies) and suppliers to file your claims
for the covered services and supplies you get.

 

 

 
What do I pay?

Your out-of-pocket costs in Original Medicare depend on the following:

¦¦Whether you have Part A and/or Part B. Most people have both.
¦¦Whether your doctor, other health care provider, or supplier accepts
“assignment.”
¦¦The type of health care you need and how often you need it.
¦¦Whether you choose to get services or supplies Medicare doesn’t cover.
If you do, you pay all the costs unless you have other insurance that
covers it.
¦¦Whether you have other health insurance that works with Medicare.
¦¦Whether you have Medicaid or get help from your state paying your
Medicare costs.
¦¦Whether you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy.
¦¦Whether you and your doctor or other health care provider sign a
private contract. See page 62.
For more information on how other insurance works with Medicare,
see pages 22–23. For more information about help to cover the costs that
Original Medicare doesn’t cover, see pages 99–100.

What are Medicare Summary Notices?

If you have Original Medicare, you’ll get a Medicare Summary Notice
(MSN) in the mail every 3 months if you get Part A and Part B-covered
services. Starting in 2013, your MSN will look different. The new MSN
will help to make Medicare information clearer, more accessible, and
easier to understand. The notice shows all your services or supplies that
providers and suppliers billed to Medicare during the 3-month period,
what Medicare paid, and what you may owe the provider. This notice
isn’t a bill. Read it carefully and do the following:

¦¦If you have other insurance, check to see if it covers anything that
Medicare didn’t.
¦¦Keep your receipts and bills, and compare them to your notice
to be sure you got all the services, supplies, or equipment listed.
See pages 112–115 for information on Medicare fraud.
¦¦If you paid a bill before you got your notice, compare your notice with
the bill to make sure you paid the right amount for your services.
¦¦If an item or service is denied, call your doctor’s or other health care
provider’s office to make sure they submitted the correct information.
If not, the office may resubmit.

 
If you disagree with any decision made, you can file an appeal.
See pages 104–107.

If you need to change your address on your notice, call Social
Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.
If you get Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits, call the RRB
at 1-877-772-5772.

Check your MSN on MyMedicare.gov

You don’t have to wait for your MSN to view your Medicare claims
or file an appeal. Visit www.MyMedicare.gov to look at your
Medicare claims or view electronic MSNs. See page 123. Your
claims generally will be available for viewing within 24 hours after
processing.

What is assignment?

Assignment means that your doctor, provider, or supplier agrees (or
is required by law) to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full
payment for covered services.

Make sure your doctor, provider, or supplier accepts assignment

Most doctors, providers, and suppliers accept assignment, but you
should always check to make sure. Participating providers have
signed an agreement to accept assignment for all Medicare-covered
services.

Here’s what happens if your doctor, provider, or supplier accepts
assignment:

¦¦Your out-of-pocket costs may be less.
¦¦They agree to charge you only the Medicare deductible and
coinsurance amount and usually wait for Medicare to pay its share
before asking you to pay your share.
¦¦They have to submit your claim directly to Medicare and can’t
charge you for submitting the claim.

 
If your doctor, provider, or supplier doesn’t accept assignment

Non-participating providers haven’t signed an agreement to
accept assignment for all Medicare-covered services, but they
can still choose to accept assignment for individual services.
These providers are called “non-participating.”

Here’s what happens if your doctor, provider, or supplier doesn’t
accept assignment:

¦¦You might have to pay the entire charge at the time of service.
Your doctor, provider, or supplier is supposed to submit a claim to
Medicare for any Medicare-covered services they provide to you.
They can’t charge you for submitting a claim. If they don’t submit
the Medicare claim once you ask them to, call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
Note: In some cases, you might have to submit your own claim
to Medicare using form CMS-1490S to get paid back. Visit
www.medicare.gov/medicareonlineforms for the form and
instructions, or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

¦¦They can charge you more than the Medicare-approved
amount, but there’s a limit called “the limiting charge.”
The provider can only charge you up to 15{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} over the amount that
non-participating providers are paid. Non-participating providers
are paid 95{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the fee schedule amount. The limiting charge
applies only to certain Medicare-covered services and doesn’t
apply to some supplies and durable medical equipment.
To find out if your doctors and other health care providers
accept assignment or participate in Medicare, visit
www.medicare.gov/physician or www.medicare.gov/supplier.
You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE, or ask your doctor, provider,
or supplier if they accept assignment.

What are private contracts?

A “private contract” is a written agreement between you and a
doctor or other health care provider who has decided not to provide
services to anyone through Medicare. The private contract only
applies to the services provided by the doctor or other provider who
asked you to sign it.

Rules for private contracts

You don’t have to sign a private contract. You can always go to
another provider who gives services through Medicare. If you sign a
private contract with your doctor or other provider:

¦¦Medicare won’t pay any amount for the services you get from
this doctor or provider, even if it’s a Medicare-covered service.
¦¦You’ll have to pay the full amount of whatever this provider
charges you for the services you get.
¦¦If you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy, it
won’t pay anything for the services you get. Call your insurance
company before you get the service if you have questions.
¦¦Your provider must tell you if Medicare would pay for the service if
you get it from another provider who accepts Medicare.
¦¦Your provider must tell you if he or she has been excluded from
Medicare.
¦¦You can always get services not covered by Medicare if you choose
to pay for them yourself.
Note: You can’t be asked to sign a private contract for emergency or
urgent care.

You may want to contact your State Health Insurance Assistance
Program (SHIP) to get help before signing a private contract with
any doctor or other health care provider. See pages 129–132 for the
phone number.

Can I add drug coverage (Part D) to Original
Medicare?

In Original Medicare, if you don’t already have creditable
prescription drug coverage (for example, from a current or former
employer or union) and you would like Medicare prescription drug
coverage, you must join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. These
plans are available through private companies under contract with
Medicare. If you don’t currently have creditable prescription drug
coverage, you should think about joining a Medicare Prescription
Drug Plan as soon as you’re eligible. If you don’t join a Medicare
Prescription Drug Plan when you’re first eligible and you decide
to join later, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
See pages 88–89 for more information.

If you have creditable prescription drug coverage from an
employer or union, call your employer or union’s benefits
administrator before you make any changes to your coverage. Your
employer or union plan will tell you each year if your prescription
drug coverage is creditable prescription drug coverage. If you drop
your employer or union coverage, you may not be able to get it
back. You also may not be able to drop your employer or union
drug coverage without also dropping your employer or union
health (doctor and hospital) coverage. If you drop coverage for
yourself, you may also have to drop coverage for your spouse and
dependants.

People with limited income and resources may qualify for Extra
Help paying their Medicare prescription drug coverage costs.
See pages 95–98 to find out if you qualify.

What are Medicare Supplement Insurance
(Medigap) policies?

Original Medicare pays for many, but not all, health care services
and supplies. A Medicare Supplement Insurance policy, sold by
private companies, can help pay some of the health care costs that
Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and
deductibles. Medicare Supplement Insurance policies are also
called Medigap policies.

Some Medigap policies also offer coverage for services that Original
Medicare doesn’t cover, like medical care when you travel outside the
U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy,
Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for
covered health care costs. Then, your Medigap policy pays its share.
You have to pay the premiums for a Medigap policy.

Are Medigap policies standardized?

Every Medigap policy must follow federal and state laws designed to
protect you and it must be clearly identified as “Medicare Supplement
Insurance.” Insurance companies can sell you only a “standardized”
policy identified in most states by letters A–N. All policies offer the
same basic benefits, but some offer additional benefits so you can
choose which one meets your needs. In Massachusetts, Minnesota,
and Wisconsin, Medigap policies are standardized in a different way.

Note: Plans E, H, I, and J are no longer available to buy, but if you
already have one of those policies, you can keep it. Contact your
insurance company for more information.

How do I compare Medigap policies?

Different insurance companies may charge different premiums
for the same exact policy. As you shop for a policy, be sure you’re
comparing the same policy (for example, compare Plan A from one
company with Plan A from another company).

In some states, you may be able to buy a type of Medigap policy
called Medicare SELECT (a policy that requires you to use specific
hospitals and, in some cases, specific doctors or other health care
providers to get full coverage). If you buy a Medicare SELECT policy,
you have the right to change your mind within 12 months and switch
to a standard Medigap policy.

The chart below shows basic information about the different
benefits that Medigap policies cover. If a percentage appears,
the Medigap plan covers that percentage of the benefit.

Note: You’ll need more details than this chart provides to compare and
choose a policy. For more details, visit www.medicare.gov/publications
to view the booklet “Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to
Health Insurance for People with Medicare.” You can also call
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be
mailed to you. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Plans

Benefits

A

B

C

D

F*

G

K

L

M

N**

Medicare Part A
coinsurance and hospital
costs (up to an additional
365 days after Medicare
benefits are used)

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

Medicare Part B
coinsurance or copayment

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

50{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

75{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

Blood (first 3 pints)

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

50{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

75{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

Part A hospice care
coinsurance or copayment

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

50{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

75{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

Skilled nursing facility care
coinsurance

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

50{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

75{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

Medicare Part A deductible

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

50{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

75{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

50{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

Medicare Part B deductible

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

Medicare Part B excess
charges

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

Foreign travel emergency
(up to plan limits)

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}

Out-of-pocket
limit in 2012

$4,660

$2,330

 

 

* Plan F also offers a high-deductible plan in some states. If you choose this option, this means
you must pay for Medicare-covered costs (coinsurance, copayments, deductibles) up to the
deductible amount of $2,070 in 2012 before your policy pays anything.

** Plan N pays 100{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some
office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an
inpatient admission.

What else should I know about Medicare
Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?

Important facts

¦¦You must have Part A and Part B.
¦¦You pay a monthly premium for your Medigap policy in addition to
your monthly Part B premium.
¦¦A Medigap policy only covers one person. Spouses must buy separate
policies.
¦¦You can’t have prescription drug coverage in both your Medigap policy
and a Medicare drug plan. See page 93.
¦¦It’s important to compare Medigap policies since the costs can vary and
may go up as you get older. Some states limit Medigap premium costs.
When to buy

¦¦The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your Medigap Open
Enrollment Period. This 6-month period begins on the first day of the
month in which you’re 65 or older and enrolled in Part B. (Some states
have additional open enrollment periods.) After this enrollment period,
your option to buy a Medigap policy may be limited and it may cost
more.
¦¦If you delay enrolling in Part B because you have group health coverage
based on your (or your spouse’s) current employment, your Medigap
Open Enrollment Period won’t start until you sign up for Part B.
¦¦Federal law doesn’t require insurance companies to sell Medigap
policies to people under 65. If you’re under 65, you might not be able
to buy the Medigap policy you want, or any Medigap policy, until you
turn 65. However, some states require Medigap insurance companies to
sell Medigap policies to people under 65.
How does Medigap work with Medicare Advantage Plans?

¦¦If you have a Medigap policy and join a Medicare Advantage Plan (like
an HMO or PPO), you may want to drop your Medigap policy. Your
Medigap policy can’t be used to pay your Medicare Advantage Plan
copayments, deductibles, and premiums. If you want to cancel your
Medigap policy, contact your insurance company. In most cases, if
you drop your Medigap policy to join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you
won’t be able to get it back.

 
¦¦If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, it’s illegal for anyone
to sell you a Medigap policy unless you’re switching back to
Original Medicare. If you want to switch to Original Medicare
and buy a Medigap policy, find out what policies are available
to you and contact your Medicare Advantage Plan to disenroll.
You’ll need to let the Medigap insurer know the date your plan
coverage will end. If you don’t intend to leave your Medicare
Advantage Plan, and someone tries to sell you a Medigap policy,
report it to your State Insurance Department.
¦¦If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan for the first time, and
you aren’t happy with the plan, you’ll have special rights to buy
a Medigap policy if you return to Original Medicare within 12
months of joining.
—If you had a Medigap policy before you joined, you may
be able to get the same policy back if the company still
sells it. If it isn’t available, you can buy another Medigap
policy.

—If you joined a Medicare Advantage Plan when you were
first eligible for Medicare, you can choose from any
Medigap policy.

—The Medigap policy can no longer have prescription drug
coverage even if you had it before, but you may be able to
join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

Where can I get more information about
Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?

¦¦Visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the booklet
“Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for
People with Medicare.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be mailed to you.
TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
¦¦Visit www.medicare.gov/medigap to find policies in your area.
¦¦Call your State Insurance Department. Visit
www.medicare.gov/contacts or call 1-800-MEDICARE to get
the phone number.
¦¦Call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
See pages 129–132 for the phone number.

 
What are Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C)?

A Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) is another Medicare
health plan choice you may have as part of Medicare. Medicare Advantage
Plans, sometimes called “Part C” or “MA Plans,” are offered by private
companies approved by Medicare. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan,
you still have Medicare. You’ll get your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and
Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage from the Medicare Advantage Plan,
not Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage Plans cover all Medicare services

In all types of Medicare Advantage Plans, you’re always covered for
emergency and urgent care. Medicare Advantage Plans must cover all of
the services that Original Medicare covers except hospice care and some
care in qualifying clinical research studies. Original Medicare covers
hospice care and some costs for clinical research studies even if
you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Medicare Advantage Plans may offer extra coverage, like vision,
hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs. Most include
Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). In addition to your
Part B premium, you usually pay a monthly premium for the
Medicare Advantage Plan.

Medicare Advantage Plans must follow Medicare’s rules

Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care every month to the companies
offering Medicare Advantage Plans. These companies must follow rules set
by Medicare. However, each Medicare Advantage Plan can charge different
out-of-pocket costs and have different rules for how you get services
(like whether you need a referral to see a specialist or if you have to go to
doctors, facilities, or suppliers that belong to the plan for non-emergency or
non-urgent care). These rules can change each year. The plan must notify
you about any changes before the start of the next enrollment year.

Read the information you get from your plan

If you’re in a Medicare plan, review the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC)
and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) your plan sends you each fall.
The EOC gives you details about what the plan covers, how much you pay,
and more. The ANOC includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service
area that will be effective in January. If you don’t get these important
documents, contact your plan.

There are different types of Medicare Advantage Plans:

¦¦Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plans—In most HMOs,
you can only go to doctors, other health care providers, or hospitals
in the plan’s network except in an emergency. You may also need to
get a referral from your primary care doctor. See page 74.
¦¦Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans—In a PPO, you pay
less if you use doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers
that belong to the plan’s network. You usually pay more if you use
doctors, hospitals, and providers outside of the network. See page 74.
¦¦Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans—PFFS plans are similar to
Original Medicare in that you can generally go to any doctor, other
health care provider, or hospital as long as they agree to treat you.
The plan determines how much it will pay doctors, other health care
providers, and hospitals, and how much you must pay when you get
care. See page 75.
¦¦Special Needs Plans (SNP)—SNPs provide focused and specialized
health care for specific groups of people, like those who have both
Medicare and Medicaid, who live in a nursing home, or have certain
chronic medical conditions. See page 75.
¦¦HMO Point-of-Service (HMOPOS) Plans—These are HMO plans
that may allow you to get some services out-of-network for a higher
copayment or coinsurance.
¦¦Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plans—This is a plan that
combines a high deductible health plan with a bank account.
Medicare deposits money into the account (usually less than the
deductible). You can use the money to pay for your health care
services during the year. For more information about MSAs, visit
www.medicare.gov/publications to view the booklet “Your Guide
to Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans.” You can also call
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be
mailed to you. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
Make sure you understand how a plan works before you join.
See pages 74–75 for more information about Medicare Advantage Plan
types. If you want more information about a Medicare Advantage
Plan, you can call any plan and request a “Summary of Benefits” (SB)
document. Contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program
(SHIP) for help comparing plans. See pages 129–132 for the phone
number.

What else should I know about Medicare
Advantage Plans?

Important facts

¦¦You have Medicare rights and protections, including the right to
appeal. See pages 103–107.
¦¦You can check with the plan before you get a service to find out if it’s
covered and what your costs may be.
¦¦You must follow plan rules. It’s important to check with the plan for
information about your rights and responsibilities.
¦¦If you go to a doctor, other health care provider, facility, or supplier
that doesn’t belong to the plan, your services may not be covered, or
your costs could be higher. In most cases, this applies to Medicare
Advantage HMOs and PPOs.
¦¦If you join a clinical research study, some costs may be covered by
Medicare and some by your plan.
¦¦Medicare Advantage Plans can’t charge more than Original Medicare
for certain services, like chemotherapy, dialysis, and skilled nursing
facility care.
¦¦Medicare Advantage Plans have a yearly cap on how much you pay
for Part A and Part B services during the year. This yearly maximum
out-of-pocket amount can be different between Medicare Advantage
Plans and can change each year. You should consider this when you
choose a plan.
Joining & leaving

¦¦You can join a Medicare Advantage Plan even if you have a
pre-existing condition, except for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
See page 72.
¦¦You can only join or leave a plan at certain times during the year.
See pages 76–77.
¦¦Each year, Medicare Advantage Plans can choose to leave Medicare or
make changes to the services they cover and what you pay. If the plan
decides to stop participating in Medicare, you’ll have to join another
Medicare health plan or return to Original Medicare. See page 104.
¦¦Medicare Advantage Plans must follow certain rules when giving
you information about how to join their plan. See page 78 for more
information about these rules and how to protect your personal
information.

 
Prescription drug coverage

You usually get prescription drug coverage (Part D) through
the Medicare Advantage Plan. In some types of plans
that don’t offer drug coverage, you can join a Medicare
Prescription Drug Plan. If your Medicare Advantage
Plan includes prescription drug coverage and you join a
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, you’ll be disenrolled
from your Medicare Advantage Plan and returned to
Original Medicare.

Who can join?

You must meet these conditions to join a Medicare Advantage Plan:

¦¦You have Part A and Part B.
¦¦You live in the plan’s service area.
¦¦You don’t have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), except as
explained on page 72.
What if I have other coverage?

Talk to your employer, union, or other benefits administrator about
their rules before you join a Medicare Advantage Plan. In some
cases, joining a Medicare Advantage Plan might cause you to lose
employer or union coverage. If you lose coverage for yourself, you
may also lose coverage for your spouse and dependants. In other
cases, if you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may still be able
to use your employer or union coverage along with the plan you
join. Remember, if you drop your employer or union coverage,
you may not be able to get it back.

What if I have a Medicare Supplement
Insurance Policy?

You can’t use (and can’t be sold) a Medicare Supplement Insurance
(Medigap) policy while you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
You can’t use it to pay for any expenses (copayments, deductibles,
and premiums) you have under a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you
already have a Medigap policy and join a Medicare Advantage
Plan, you’ll probably want to drop your Medigap policy. If you
drop your Medigap policy, you may not be able to get it back.
See pages 64–67.

What if I have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)?

If you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), you can only join a
Medicare Advantage Plan in certain situations:

¦¦If you’re already in a Medicare Advantage Plan when you develop
ESRD, you may be able to stay in your plan or join another plan
offered by the same company.
¦¦If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, and the plan leaves
Medicare or no longer provides coverage in your area, you have a
one-time right to join another plan.
¦¦If you have an employer or union health plan or other health
coverage through a company that offers Medicare Advantage
Plans, you may be able to join one of their Medicare Advantage
Plans.
¦¦If you’ve had a successful kidney transplant, you may be able to
join a Medicare Advantage Plan.
¦¦You may be able to join a Medicare Special Needs Plan (SNP) for
people with ESRD if one is available in your area.
For more information

Visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the booklet
“Medicare Coverage of Kidney Dialysis and Kidney Transplant
Services.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
to find out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048.

Note: If you have ESRD and Original Medicare, you may join a
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

What do I pay?

Your out-of-pocket costs in a Medicare Advantage Plan depend on
the following:

¦¦Whether the plan charges a monthly premium.
¦¦Whether the plan pays any of your monthly Part B premium.
¦¦Whether the plan has a yearly deductible or any additional
deductibles for certain services.
¦¦How much you pay for each visit or service (copayments or
coinsurance).
¦¦The type of health care services you need and how often you get
them.
¦¦Whether you go to a doctor or supplier who accepts assignment
(if you’re in a Preferred Provider Organization, Private
Fee-for-Service Plan, or Medical Savings Account Plan and you
go out-of-network). See pages 60–61 for more information about
assignment.
¦¦Whether you follow the plan’s rules, like using network providers.
¦¦Whether you need extra benefits and if the plan charges for it.
¦¦The plan’s yearly limit on your out-of-pocket costs for all medical
services.
¦¦Whether you have Medicaid or get help from your state.
To learn more about your costs in specific Medicare Advantage
Plans, visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan. You can also call
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048.

Read the information you get from your plan

See page 68 for more information about the “Evidence of Coverage”
(EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) your plan sends
you each fall.

Can I get my health care from any doctor, other health care provider,
or hospital in a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plan? No. You generally must get your care and services from doctors, other health care providers, or hospitals in the plan’s network (except emergency care, out-of-area urgent care, or out-of-area dialysis). In some plans, you may be able to go out-of-network for certain services, usually for a higher cost. This is called an HMO with a point-of-service (POS) option.
Can I get my health care from any doctor, other health care provider,
or hospital in a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan? In most cases, yes. PPOs have network doctors, other health care providers, and hospitals, but you can also use out-of-network providers for covered services, usually for a higher cost.
Can I get my health care from any doctor, other health care provider,
or hospital in a Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plan? In some cases, yes. You can go to any Medicare-approved doctor, other health care provider, or hospital that accepts the plan’s payment terms and agrees to treat you. Not all providers will. If you join a PFFS Plan that has a network, you can also see any of the network providers who have agreed to always treat plan members. You can also choose an out-of-network doctor, hospital, or other provider, who accepts the plan’s terms, but you may pay more.
Can I get my health care from any doctor, other health care provider,
or hospital in a Special Needs Plan (SNP)? You generally must get your care and services from doctors, other health care providers, or hospitals in the plan’s network (except emergency care, out-of-area urgent care, or out-of-area dialysis).
Are prescription drugs covered in an HMO Plan? In most cases, yes. Ask the plan. If you want Medicare drug coverage, you must join an HMO Plan that offers prescription drug coverage.
Are prescription drugs covered in a PPO Plan? In most cases, yes. Ask the plan. If you want Medicare drug coverage, you must join a PPO Plan that offers prescription drug coverage.
Are prescription drugs covered in a Private Fee-for-Service Plan? Sometimes. If your PFFS Plan doesn’t offer drug coverage, you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) to get coverage.
Are prescription drugs covered in a Special Needs Plan? Yes. All SNPs must provide Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).
Do I need to choose a primary care doctor in an HMO? In most cases yes.
Do I need to choose a primary care doctor in a PPO? No.
Do I need to choose a primary care doctor in a Private Fee-for-Service Plan? No.
Do I need to choose a primary care doctor in a Special Needs Plan? Generally, yes.
Do I have to get a referral to see a specialist in an HMO? In most cases, yes. Certain services, like yearly screening mammograms, don’t require a referral.
Do I have to get a referral to see a specialist in a PPO? In most cases, no.
Do I have to get a referral to see a specialist in a Private Fee-for-Service Plan? No.
Do I have to get a referral to see a specialist in a Special Needs Plan? In most cases, yes. Certain services, like yearly screening mammograms, don’t require a referral.
What else do I need to know about HMOs?
If your doctor or other health care provider leaves the plan, your plan will notify you. You can choose another doctor in the plan. If you get health care outside the plan’s network, you may have to pay the full cost. It’s important that you follow the plan’s rules, like getting prior approval for a certain service when needed.
What else do I need to know about PPO Plans? PPO Plans aren’t the same as Original Medicare or Medigap. Medicare PPO Plans usually offer extra benefits than Original Medicare, but you may have to pay extra for these benefits.
What else do I need to know about Private Fee-for-Service Plans? PFFS Plans aren’t the same as Original Medicare or Medigap. The plan decides how much you must pay for services. Some PFFS Plans contract with a network of providers who agree to always treat you even if you’ve never seen them before. Out-of-network doctors, hospitals, and other providers may decide not to treat you even if you’ve seen them before. For each service you get, make sure your doctors, hospitals, and other providers agree to treat you under the plan, and accept the plan’s payment terms. In an emergency, doctors, hospitals, and other providers must treat you.
What else do I need to know about Special Needs Plans? A plan must limit membership to the following groups: 1) people who live in certain institutions (like a nursing home) or who require nursing care at home, or 2) people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, or 3) people who have specific chronic or disabling conditions (like diabetes, ESRD, HIV/AIDS, chronic heart failure, or dementia).
Plans may further limit membership. You can join a SNP at any time if you’re eligible. Plans should coordinate the services and providers you need to help you stay healthy and follow doctor’s or other health care provider’s orders. If you have Medicare and Medicaid, your plan should make sure that all of the plan doctors or other health care providers you use accept Medicaid.
If you live in an institution, make sure that plan providers serve people where you live.
There may be several private companies that offer different types of Medicare Advantage Plans
in your area. Each plan can vary. Read individual plan materials carefully to make sure you
understand the plan’s rules. You may want to contact the plan to find out if the service you need is
covered and how much it costs. Visit the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan,
to find plans in your area. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users
should call 1-877-486-2048.

When can I join, switch, or drop a Medicare
Advantage Plan?

¦¦When you first become eligible for Medicare, you can join during
the 7-month period that begins 3 months before the month you
turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after
the month you turn 65.
¦¦If you get Medicare due to a disability, you can join during the
7-month period that begins 3 months before your 25th month of
disability and ends 3 months after your 25th month of disability.
¦¦Between October 15–December 7 anyone can join, switch, or drop
a Medicare Advantage Plan. Your coverage will begin on January 1,
as long as the plan gets your request by December 7.
Can I make changes to my coverage after December 7?

Between January 1–February 14, if you’re in a Medicare Advantage
Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare.
If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you’ll have
until February 14 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
to add drug coverage. Your coverage will begin the first day of the
month after the plan gets your enrollment request.

During this period, you can’t:

¦¦Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
¦¦Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another.
¦¦Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another.
¦¦Join, switch, or drop a Medicare Medical Savings Account Plan.
Special Enrollment Periods

In most cases, you must stay enrolled for the calendar year starting
the date your coverage begins. However, in certain situations, you
may be able to join, switch, or drop a Medicare Advantage Plan
during a Special Enrollment Period. Contact your plan if:

¦¦You move out of your plan’s service area.
¦¦You have Medicaid.
¦¦You qualify for Extra Help. See pages 95–98.
¦¦You live in an institution (like a nursing home).

 
5-Star Special Enrollment Period

Medicare uses information from member satisfaction surveys, plans,
and health care providers to give overall performance star ratings to
plans. A plan can get a rating between 1 and 5 stars. A 5-star rating is
considered excellent. These ratings help you compare plans based on
quality and performance. These ratings are updated each fall and can
change each year.

You can switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan that has 5 stars for its
overall plan rating from December 8, 2012 through November 30, 2013.

¦¦The overall plan ratings are available at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan.
¦¦You can only join a 5-star Medicare Advantage Plan if one is available
in your area.
¦¦You can only use this Special Enrollment Period once during the above
timeframe.
Visit the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan to
search for plans. For more information about overall plan ratings, visit
www.medicare.gov/publications to view the fact sheet “Choose Higher
Quality for Better Health Care.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY users
should call 1-877-486-2048.

You may lose your prescription drug coverage if you move from a
Medicare Advantage Plan that has drug coverage to a 5-star Medicare
Advantage Plan that doesn’t. You’ll have to wait until the next Open
Enrollment Period to get drug coverage, and you may have to pay a late
enrollment penalty. See pages 88–89.

How do I join?

You can join a Medicare Advantage Plan by:

¦¦Enrolling on the plan’s website or on www.medicare.gov.
¦¦Completing a paper enrollment form.
¦¦Calling the plan.
¦¦Calling 1-800-MEDICARE.
When you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll have to provide your
Medicare number and the date your Part A and/or Part B coverage
started. This information is on your Medicare card.

Don’t give out personal information

In most cases, Medicare Advantage Plans can’t:

¦¦Call you to enroll you in a plan.
¦¦Ask you for financial information, including credit card or bank
account numbers, over the phone. Don’t give your personal
information to anyone who calls you to enroll in a plan.
¦¦Call you or come to your home uninvited to sell Medicare products.
See pages 112–115 for more information about how to protect yourself
from identity theft and fraud. If you believe a plan has misled you, call
1-800-MEDICARE. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

How do I switch?

Follow these steps if you’re already in a Medicare Advantage Plan and
want to switch:

¦¦To switch to a new Medicare Advantage Plan, simply join the plan
you choose during one of the enrollment periods explained on pages
76–77. You’ll be disenrolled automatically from your old plan when
your new plan’s coverage begins.
¦¦To switch to Original Medicare, contact your current plan, or call
1-800-MEDICARE. If you don’t have drug coverage, you should
carefully consider Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).
You may also want to consider a Medicare Supplement Insurance
(Medigap) policy if you’re eligible. See pages 64–67 for more
information about buying a Medigap policy.
For more information on joining, dropping, and switching plans, visit
www.medicare.gov/publications to view the fact sheet “Understanding
Medicare Enrollment Periods.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE to
find out if a copy can be mailed to you.

Are there other types of Medicare health plans?

Some types of Medicare health plans that provide health care
coverage aren’t Medicare Advantage Plans but are still part of
Medicare. Some of these plans provide Part A (Hospital Insurance)
and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage, while most others
provide only Part B coverage. In addition, some also provide Part D
prescription drug coverage. These plans have some of the same
rules as Medicare Advantage Plans. However, each type of plan has
special rules and exceptions, so you should contact any plans you’re
interested in to get more details.

Medicare Cost Plans

Medicare Cost Plans are a type of Medicare health plan available
in certain areas of the country. Here’s what you should know about
Medicare Cost Plans:

¦¦You can join even if you only have Part B.
¦¦If you have Part A and Part B and go to a non-network provider,
the services are covered under Original Medicare. You would pay
the Part A and Part B coinsurance and deductibles.
¦¦You can join anytime the plan is accepting new members.
¦¦You can leave anytime and return to Original Medicare.
¦¦You can either get your Medicare prescription drug coverage
from the plan (if offered), or you can join a Medicare Prescription
Drug Plan. Note: You can add or drop Medicare prescription
drug coverage only at certain times. See pages 82–83.
There’s another type of Medicare Cost Plan that only provides
coverage for Part B services. These plans are either sponsored by
employer or union group health plans or offered by companies that
don’t provide Part A services. Part A services are covered through
Original Medicare. These plans never include Part D.

For more information about Medicare Cost Plans, contact the plans
you’re interested in. You can also visit the Medicare Plan Finder
at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan. Your State Health Insurance
Assistance Program (SHIP) can also give you more information.
See pages 129–132 for the phone number.

Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program offered in many states that
allows people who otherwise need a nursing home-level of care to remain
in the community.

To qualify for PACE, you must meet these conditions:

¦¦You’re 55 or older.
¦¦You live in the service area of a PACE organization.
¦¦You’re certified by your state as needing a nursing home-level of care.
¦¦At the time you join, you’re able to live safely in the community with the
help of PACE services.
PACE provides coverage for prescription drugs, doctor or other health
care provider visits, transportation, home care, hospital visits, and even
nursing home stays whenever necessary. If you have Medicaid, you won’t
have to pay a monthly premium for the long-term care portion of the
PACE benefit. If you have Medicare but not Medicaid, you’ll be charged
a monthly premium to cover the long-term care portion of the PACE
benefit and a premium for Medicare Part D drugs. However, in PACE
there’s never a deductible or copayment for any drug, service, or care
approved by the PACE team of health care professionals.

Visit www.pace4you.org or call your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid)
office to find out if you’re eligible and if there’s a PACE site near you.
You can also visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the fact
sheet “Quick Facts about Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly
(PACE).” You can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to find out if
a copy can be mailed to you. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Medicare Innovation Projects

Medicare develops innovative models, demonstrations, and pilot projects
to test and measure the effect of potential changes in Medicare coverage,
payment, and quality of care. These projects help to find new ways to
improve your health care and reduce costs. Usually, they operate only
for a limited time for a specific group of people and/or are offered only
in specific areas. Check with the demonstration or pilot project (or with
your health care provider) for more information about how it works.

To find out about current Medicare models, demonstrations, and
pilot projects, visit www.innovations.cms.gov. You can also call
1-800-MEDICARE.

How does Medicare prescription drug
coverage (Part D) work?

Medicare offers prescription drug coverage to everyone with
Medicare. Even if you don’t take many prescriptions now,
you should consider joining a Medicare drug plan. If you
decide not to join a Medicare drug plan when you’re first
eligible, and you don’t have other creditable prescription
drug coverage, or you don’t get Extra Help, you’ll likely pay
a late enrollment penalty if you join a plan later. See pages
88–89. To get Medicare prescription drug coverage, you must
join a plan run by an insurance company or other private
company approved by Medicare. Each plan can vary in cost
and specific drugs covered.

There are 2 ways to get Medicare prescription drug coverage:

1. Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. These plans
(sometimes called “PDPs”) add drug coverage to Original
Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare
Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans, and Medicare
Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plans.
2. Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO or PPO)
or other Medicare health plans that offer Medicare
prescription drug coverage. You get all of your Part A
and Part B coverage, and prescription drug coverage
(Part D), through these plans. Medicare Advantage Plans
with prescription drug coverage are sometimes called
“MA-PDs.” You must have Part A and Part B to join a
Medicare Advantage Plan.
In either case, you must live in the service area of the
Medicare drug plan you want to join. Both types of plans
are called “Medicare drug plans” in this handbook.
Section 6—
Get Information about
Prescription Drug Coverage

If you have employer or union coverage

Call your benefits administrator before you make any changes, or
before you sign up for any other coverage. If you drop your employer
or union coverage, you may not be able to get it back. You also may not
be able to drop your employer or union drug coverage without also
dropping your employer or union health (doctor and hospital) coverage.
If you drop coverage for yourself, you may also have to drop coverage
for your spouse and dependants. If you want to know how Medicare
prescription drug coverage works with other drug coverage you may
have, see pages 93–94.

When can I join, switch, or drop a Medicare drug
plan?

¦¦When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you can join during the
7-month period that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65,
includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month
you turn 65.
¦¦If you get Medicare due to a disability, you can join during the
7-month period that begins 3 months before your 25th month of
disability benefits and ends 3 months after your 25th month of
disability. You’ll have another chance to join during the 7-month period
that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65 and ends 3 months
after the month you turn 65.
¦¦Between October 15–December 7, anyone can join, switch, or drop a
Medicare drug plan. The change will take effect on January 1 as long
as the plan gets your request by December 7.
¦¦Anytime, if you qualify for Extra Help.
Special Enrollment Periods

You generally must stay enrolled for the calendar year. However, in
certain situations like the following, you may be able to join, switch, or
drop Medicare drug plans at other times:

¦¦If you move out of your plan’s service area
¦¦If you lose other creditable prescription drug coverage
¦¦If you live in an institution (like a nursing home)

 
5-Star Special Enrollment Period

You can switch to a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan that has 5
stars for its overall plan rating from December 8, 2012 through
November 30, 2013. The overall plan ratings are available at
www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan. These ratings are updated each fall
and can change each year. See page 77 for more information.

¦¦You can only switch to a 5-star Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
if one is available in your area.
¦¦You can only use this Special Enrollment Period once during the
above timeframe.
Visit the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan
to search for plans. For more information about overall plan
ratings, visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the fact sheet
“Choose Higher Quality for Better Health Care.” You can also call
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be
mailed to you. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for
more information. See pages 129–132 for the phone number. You
can also call 1-800-MEDICARE.

How do I join?

You can join a Medicare drug plan by:

¦¦Enrolling on the plan’s website or on www.medicare.gov.
¦¦Completing a paper enrollment form.
¦¦Calling the plan.
¦¦Calling 1-800-MEDICARE.
When you join a Medicare drug plan, you’ll have to provide your
Medicare number and the date your Part A and/or Part B coverage
started. This information is on your Medicare card.

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan

If your Medicare Advantage Plan includes prescription drug
coverage and you join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, you’ll be
disenrolled from your Medicare Advantage Plan and returned to
Original Medicare.

Don’t give out personal information

In most cases, Medicare drug plans aren’t allowed to call you to
enroll you in a plan. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to
report a plan that does this. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
Don’t give your personal information to anyone who calls you to enroll
in a plan.

How do I switch?

You can switch to a new Medicare drug plan simply by joining another
drug plan during one of the times listed on pages 82–83. You don’t
need to cancel your old Medicare drug plan. Your old Medicare drug
plan coverage will end when your new drug plan begins. You should
get a letter from your new Medicare drug plan telling you when your
coverage with the new plan begins.

How do I drop a Medicare drug plan?

If you want to drop your Medicare drug plan and you don’t want to join
a new plan, you can do so during one of the times listed on page 82.
You can disenroll by calling 1-800-MEDICARE. You can also send a
letter to the plan to tell them you want to disenroll. If you drop your
plan and want to join another Medicare drug plan later, you have to
wait for an enrollment period. You may have to pay a late enrollment
penalty. See pages 88–89.

What do I pay?

Below and continued on the next page are descriptions of what you pay
in your Medicare drug plan. Your actual drug plan costs will vary
depending on the following:

¦¦Your prescriptions and whether they’re on your plan’s formulary (drug
list)
¦¦The plan you choose
¦¦Which pharmacy you use (preferred, non preferred, out-of-network, or
mail order)
¦¦Whether you get Extra Help paying your Part D costs

 
Monthly premium

Most drug plans charge a monthly fee that varies by plan. You pay
this in addition to the Part B premium. If you’re in a Medicare
Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or a Medicare Cost Plan
that includes Medicare prescription drug coverage, the monthly
premium may include an amount for prescription drug coverage.

Note: Contact your drug plan (not Social Security or RRB) if you
want your premium deducted from your monthly Social Security
payment. If you want to stop premium deductions and get billed
directly, contact your drug plan.

What you pay for Part D coverage could be higher based on
your income. This includes Part D coverage you get from a
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, a Medicare Advantage Plan,
a Medicare Cost Plan, or employer group Medicare Advantage
Plan that includes Medicare prescription drug coverage. If your
income is above a certain limit, you’ll pay an extra amount in
addition to your plan premium. Usually, the extra amount will
be deducted from your Social Security check or billed by the
RRB if you get benefits from the RRB. If you’re billed the amount
by Medicare or the RRB, you must pay the extra amount to
Medicare or the RRB and not your plan. If you have to pay an
extra amount and you disagree (for example, you have a life event
that lowers your income), call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.
TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778. For more information,
visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10536.pdf to view the fact sheet
“Medicare Premiums: Rules for Higher-Income Beneficiaries.”

Yearly deductible

This is the amount you must pay before your drug plan begins to
pay its share of your covered drugs. Some drug plans don’t have a
deductible.

Copayments or coinsurance

These are the amounts you pay for your covered prescriptions after the
deductible (if the plan has one). You pay your share and your drug plan pays
its share for covered drugs. These amounts may vary.

Coverage gap

Most Medicare drug plans have a coverage gap (also called the “donut hole”).
This means that there’s a temporary limit on what the drug plan will cover
for drugs. The coverage gap begins after you and your drug plan have spent
a certain amount for covered drugs. In 2013, once you enter the coverage
gap, you pay 47.5{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the plan’s cost for covered brand-name drugs and 79{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}
of the plan’s cost for covered generic drugs until you reach the end of the
coverage gap. Not everyone will enter the coverage gap.

These items all count toward you getting out of the coverage gap:

¦¦Your yearly deductible, coinsurance, and copayments
¦¦The discount you get on covered brand-name drugs in the coverage gap
¦¦What you pay in the coverage gap
The drug plan premium and what you pay for drugs that aren’t covered
don’t count toward getting you out of the coverage gap.

Some plans offer additional coverage during the gap, like for generic drugs,
but they may charge a higher monthly premium. Check with the plan first to
see if your drugs would be covered during the gap.

In addition to the discount on covered brand-name prescription
drugs, there will be increasing coverage for drugs in the coverage gap
each year until the gap closes in 2020. For more information, visit
www.medicare.gov/publications to view the fact sheet “Closing the Coverage
Gap—Medicare Prescription Drugs Are Becoming More Affordable.”
You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy
can be mailed to you. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Catastrophic coverage

Once you get out of the coverage gap, you automatically get “catastrophic
coverage.” Catastrophic coverage assures that you only pay a small
coinsurance amount or copayment for covered drugs for the rest of the year.

Note: If you get Extra Help, you won’t have some of these costs. See pages
95–98.

The example below shows costs for covered drugs in 2013 for a
plan that has a coverage gap.

Ms. Smith joins the ABC Prescription Drug Plan. Her coverage
begins on January 1, 2013. She doesn’t get Extra Help and uses her
Medicare drug plan membership card when she buys prescriptions.

This chart shows an example of costs for covered drugs in 2013 for a plan that has a coverage gap.
Monthly Premium—Ms. Smith pays a monthly premium throughout the year.
1. Yearly deductible—Ms. Smith pays the first $325 of her drug costs before her plan starts to pay its share.
2. Copayment or coinsurance (what you pay at the pharmacy)—Ms. Smith pays a copayment, and her plan pays its share for each covered drug until their combined amount (plus the deductible) reaches $2,970.
3. Coverage gap–Once Ms. Smith and her plan have spent $2,970 for covered drugs, she’s in the coverage gap. In 2013, she pays 47.5{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the plan’s cost for her covered brand-name prescription drugs and 79{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the plan’s cost for covered generic drugs. What she pays (and the discount paid by the drug company) counts as out-of-pocket spending, and helps her get out of the coverage gap.
4. Catastrophic coverage—Once Ms. Smith has spent $4,750 out-of-pocket for the year, her coverage gap ends. Now she only pays a small coinsurance or copayment for each covered drug until the end of the year.
Monthly Premium—Ms. Smith pays a monthly premium throughout the year.
1. Yearly
deductible
2. Copayment or
coinsurance
(what you pay
at the pharmacy)
3. Coverage gap 4. Catastrophic
coverage
Ms. Smith pays
the first $325 of
her drug costs
before her plan
starts to pay its
share.
Ms. Smith pays a
copayment, and her
plan pays its share for
each covered drug
until their combined
amount (plus the
deductible) reaches
$2,970.
Once Ms. Smith and her
plan have spent $2,970
for covered drugs, she’s
in the coverage gap. In
2013, she pays 47.5{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of
the plan’s cost for her
covered brand-name
prescription drugs and
79{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the plan’s cost for
covered generic drugs.
What she pays (and the
discount paid by the
drug company) counts as
out-of-pocket spending,
and helps her get out of
the coverage gap.
Once Ms. Smith
has spent $4,750
out-of-pocket for the
year, her coverage
gap ends. Now she
only pays a small
coinsurance or
copayment for each
covered drug until
the end of the year.

To get specific Medicare drug plan costs, call the plans
you’re interested in. Visit the Medicare Plan Finder at
www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan to get plan contact information and
to compare costs. For help comparing plan costs, contact your State
Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). See pages 129–132
for the phone number. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

What is the Part D late enrollment penalty?

The late enrollment penalty is an amount that’s added to your Part D
premium. You may owe a late enrollment penalty if at any time
after your initial enrollment period is over, there’s a period of 63 or
more days in a row when you don’t have Part D or other creditable
prescription drug coverage.

Note: If you get Extra Help, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty.

3 ways to avoid paying a penalty:

1. Join a Medicare drug plan when you’re first eligible. You won’t
have to pay a penalty.
2. Don’t go 63 days or more in a row without a Medicare drug
plan or other creditable coverage. Creditable prescription
drug coverage could include drug coverage from a current or
former employer or union, TRICARE, Indian Health Service, the
Department of Veterans Affairs, or health insurance coverage.
Your plan must tell you each year if your drug coverage is
creditable coverage. This information may be sent to you in
a letter or included in a newsletter from the plan. Keep this
information, because you may need it if you join a Medicare drug
plan later.
3. Tell your plan about any drug coverage you had if they
ask about it. When you join a Medicare drug plan, and the
plan believes you went at least 63 days in a row without other
creditable prescription drug coverage, the plan will send you
a letter. The letter will include a form asking about any drug
coverage you had. Complete the form and return it to your drug
plan. If you don’t tell the plan about your creditable prescription
drug coverage, you may have to pay a penalty.

 
How much more will I pay?

The cost of the late enrollment penalty depends on how long you
didn’t have creditable prescription drug coverage. Currently, the
late enrollment penalty is calculated by multiplying 1{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05} of the
“national base beneficiary premium” ($31.08 in 2012) times the
number of full, uncovered months that you were eligible but didn’t
join a Medicare drug plan and went without other creditable
prescription drug coverage. The final amount is rounded to the
nearest $.10 and added to your monthly premium. Since the
“national base beneficiary premium” may increase each year, the
penalty amount may also increase each year. You may have to pay
this penalty for as long as you have a Medicare drug plan.

Example: Mrs. Jones didn’t join when she was first eligible—by
May 1, 2008. She joined a Medicare drug plan with an effective
date of January 1, 2012. Since Mrs. Jones didn’t join when
she was first eligible and went without other creditable drug
coverage for 43 months (June 2008–December 2011), she will
be charged a monthly penalty of $13.40 in 2012 ($31.08 X .01
= $.3108 X 43 = $13.36, rounded to $13.40) in addition to her
plan’s monthly premium.

 

 

After you join a Medicare drug plan, the plan will tell you if you
owe a penalty, and what your premium will be.

What if I don’t agree with the penalty?

If you don’t agree with your late enrollment penalty, you can ask for
a review or reconsideration. You’ll need to fill out a reconsideration
request form (that your Medicare drug plan will send you), and
you’ll have the chance to provide proof that supports your case, like
information about previous creditable prescription drug coverage.
If you need help, call your Medicare plan. You can also contact
your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). See
pages 129–132 for the phone number.

What drugs are covered?

Information about a plan’s list of covered drugs (called a formulary)
isn’t included in this handbook because each plan has its own
formulary. Many Medicare drug plans place drugs into different
“tiers” on their formularies. Drugs in each tier have a different cost.
For example, a drug in a lower tier will generally cost you less than
a drug in a higher tier. In some cases, if your drug is in a higher tier
and your prescriber (your doctor or other health care provider who
is legally allowed to write prescriptions) thinks you need that drug
instead of a similar drug in a lower tier, you or your prescriber can
ask your plan for an exception to get a lower copayment.

Contact the plan for its current formulary, or visit the plan’s
website. You can also visit the Medicare Plan Finder at
www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan, or call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. Your plan
will notify you of any formulary changes.

Note: Medicare drug plans must cover all medically-necessary
commercially-available vaccines, not already covered under Part B
(like the shingles vaccine).

Each month that you fill a prescription, your drug plan mails
you an “Explanation of Benefits” (EOB) notice. This notice gives
you a summary of your prescription drug claims and your costs.
Review your notice and check it for mistakes. Contact your plan if
you have questions or find mistakes. If you suspect fraud, call the
Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor (MEDIC) at 1-877-7SAFERX
(1-877-772-3379). See page 114 for more information about the
MEDIC.

Plans may have the following coverage rules:

¦¦Prior authorization—You and/or your prescriber must contact
the drug plan before you can fill certain prescriptions. Your
prescriber may need to show that the drug is medically necessary
for the plan to cover it.
¦¦Quantity limits—Limits on how much medication you can get at
a time.
¦¦Step therapy—You must try one or more similar, lower cost drugs
before the plan will cover the prescribed drug.
If you or your prescriber believe that one of these coverage rules
should be waived, you can ask for an exception. See page 106.

Note: In most cases, the prescription drugs (sometimes called
“self-administered drugs” or drugs you would usually take on
your own) you get in an outpatient setting, like an emergency
department, or during observation services, aren’t covered by
Part B. Your Medicare drug plan may cover these drugs under
certain circumstances. You’ll likely need to pay out-of-pocket for
these drugs and submit a claim to your drug plan for a refund.
Or, if you get a bill for self-administered drugs you got in a doctor’s
office, call your Medicare drug plan (Part D) for more information.

Visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the fact sheet, “How
Medicare Covers Self-Administered Drugs Given in Hospital
Outpatient Settings.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY
users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Medication Therapy Management Program

If you’re in a Medicare drug plan and take medications for different
medical conditions, you may be eligible to get services, at no cost to
you, through a Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program.
This program helps you and your doctor make sure that your
medications are working to improve your health. A pharmacist or
other health professional will give you a comprehensive medication
review of all your medications and talk with you about:

¦¦How to get the most benefit from the drugs you take
¦¦Any concerns you have, like medication costs and drug reactions
¦¦How best to take your medications
¦¦Any questions or problems you have about your prescription and
over-the-counter medication
You’ll get a written summary of this discussion to have available
when you talk with your health care providers. The summary has a
medication action plan that recommends what you can do to make
the best use of your medications, with space for you to take notes
or write down any follow-up questions. You’ll also get a personal
medication list that will include all the medications you’re taking and
why you take them.

Your drug plan may enroll you in this program if you meet all of
the following:

1. You have more than one chronic health condition.
2. You take several different medications.
3. Your medications have a combined cost of more than $3,144
per year. This dollar amount (which can change each year) is
estimated based on your out-of-pocket costs and the costs your
plan pays for the medications each calendar year. Your plan can
help you find out if you may reach this dollar limit.
Visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan to get general information about
program eligibility for your Medicare drug plan or for other plans
that interest you. Contact each drug plan for specific details.

How do other insurance and programs work with Part D?

The charts on the next 2 pages provide information about how other insurance
you have works with, or is affected by, Medicare prescription drug coverage
(Part D).

Employer or union health coverage—Health coverage from your, your spouse’s,
or other family member’s current or former employer or union. If you have
prescription drug coverage based on your current or previous employment, your
employer or union will notify you each year to let you know if your prescription
drug coverage is creditable. Keep the information you get. Call your benefits
administrator for more information before making any changes to your coverage.
Note: If you join a Medicare drug plan, you, your spouse, or your dependants
may lose your employer or union health coverage.

COBRA—A federal law that may allow you to temporarily keep employer or
union health coverage after the employment ends or after you lose coverage as
a dependant of the covered employee. As explained on pages 20–21, there may
be reasons why you should take Part B instead of, or in addition to, COBRA.
However, if you take COBRA and it includes creditable prescription drug
coverage, you’ll have a Special Enrollment Period to join a Medicare drug plan
without paying a penalty when the COBRA coverage ends. Talk with your State
Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to see if COBRA is a good choice
for you. See pages 129–132 for the phone number.

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy with prescription drug
coverage—You may choose to join a Medicare drug plan because most Medigap
drug coverage isn’t creditable and you may pay more if you join a drug plan later.
See pages 88–89. Medigap policies can no longer be sold with prescription drug
coverage, but if you have drug coverage under a current Medigap policy, you can
keep it. If you join a Medicare drug plan, your Medigap insurance company must
remove the prescription drug coverage under your Medigap policy and adjust
your premiums. Call your Medigap insurance company for more information.

 

 

Note: Keep any creditable prescription drug coverage information you get from
your plan. You may need it if you decide to join a Medicare drug plan later.
Don’t send creditable coverage letters/certificates to Medicare.

How does other government insurance work with Part D?

The types of insurance listed on this page are all considered creditable prescription
drug coverage. If you have one of these types of insurance, in most cases, it will be
to your advantage to keep your current coverage.

Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program—Health coverage for
current and retired federal employees and covered family members. FEHB plans
usually include prescription drug coverage, so you don’t need to join a Medicare
drug plan. However, if you decide to join a Medicare drug plan, you can keep your
FEHB plan, and your plan will let you know who pays first. For more information,
visit www.opm.gov/insure or contact the Office of Personnel Management at
1-888-767-6738. TTY users should call 1-800-878-5707. You can also call your plan
if you have questions.

Veterans’ benefits—Health coverage for veterans and people who have served in
the U.S. military. You may be able to get prescription drug coverage through the
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program. You may join a Medicare drug
plan, but if you do, you can’t use both types of coverage for the same prescription
at the same time. For more information, visit www.va.gov or call the VA at
1-800-827-1000. TTY users should call 1-800-829-4833.

TRICARE (military health benefits)—Health care plan for active-duty service
members, retirees, and their families. Most people with TRICARE who are
entitled to Part A must have Part B to keep TRICARE prescription drug benefits.
If you have TRICARE, you don’t need to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
However, if you do, your Medicare drug plan pays first and TRICARE pays second.
If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) with prescription
drug coverage, your Medicare Advantage Plan and TRICARE may coordinate their
benefits if your Medicare Advantage Plan network pharmacy is also a TRICARE
network pharmacy. For more information, visit www.tricare.mil/mybenefit or call
the TRICARE Pharmacy Program at 1-877-363-1303. TTY users should call
1-877-540-6261.

Indian Health Services—Health care services for American Indians and Alaska
Natives. Many Indian health facilities participate in the Medicare prescription drug
program. If you get prescription drugs through an Indian health facility, you’ll
continue to get drugs at no cost to you and your coverage won’t be interrupted.
Joining a Medicare drug plan may help your Indian health facility because the drug
plan pays the Indian health facility for the cost of your prescriptions. Talk to your
local Indian health benefits coordinator who can help you choose a plan that meets
your needs and tell you how Medicare works with the Indian health care system.

 

 

Section 7—
Get Help Paying Your Health
& Prescription Drug Costs

What if I need help paying my Medicare
prescription drug costs?

If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for
help to pay for some health care and prescription drug costs.

Extra Help is a Medicare program to help people with limited
income and resources pay Medicare prescription drug costs.
You may qualify for Extra Help, also called the low-income
subsidy (LIS), if your yearly income and resources are below
these limits in 2012:

¦¦Single person—Income less than $16,755 and resources less
than $13,070
¦¦Married person living with a spouse and no other
dependants—Income less than $22,695 and resources less
than $26,120
These amounts may change in 2013. You may qualify even if
you have a higher income (like if you still work, live in Alaska
or Hawaii, or have dependants living with you). Resources
include money in a checking or savings account, stocks, bonds,
mutual funds, and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
Resources don’t include your home, car, household items,
burial plot, up to $1,500 for burial expenses (per person), or life
insurance policies.

If you qualify for Extra Help and join a Medicare drug plan,
you’ll:

¦¦Get help paying your Medicare drug plan’s monthly premium,
yearly deductible, coinsurance, and copayments
¦¦Have no coverage gap
¦¦Have no late enrollment penalty

 
You automatically qualify for Extra Help if you have Medicare and meet
any of these conditions:

¦¦You have full Medicaid coverage.
¦¦You get help from your state Medicaid program paying your Part B
premiums (in a Medicare Savings Program). See pages 99–100.
¦¦You get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
To let you know you automatically qualify for Extra Help, Medicare will
mail you a purple letter that you should keep for your records. You don’t
need to apply for Extra Help if you get this letter.

¦¦If you aren’t already in a Medicare drug plan, you must join one to use
this Extra Help.
¦¦If you don’t join a Medicare drug plan, Medicare may enroll you in one.
If Medicare enrolls you in a plan, you’ll get a yellow or green letter letting
you know when your coverage begins.
¦¦Different plans cover different drugs. Check to see if the plan you’re
enrolled in covers the drugs you use and if you can go to the pharmacies
you want. Visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan, or call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to compare with other plans in your area. TTY users
should call 1-877-486-2048.
¦¦If you’re getting Extra Help, you can switch to another Medicare drug
plan anytime. Your new coverage will be effective the first day of the next
month.
¦¦If you have Medicaid and live in certain institutions (like a nursing
home) or get home and community-based services (see page 118), you pay
nothing for your covered prescription drugs.
If you don’t want to join a Medicare drug plan (for example, because you
want only your employer or union coverage), call the plan listed in your
letter, or call 1-800-MEDICARE. Tell them you don’t want to be in a
Medicare drug plan (you want to “opt out”). If you continue to qualify for
Extra Help or if your employer or union coverage is creditable prescription
drug coverage, you won’t have to pay a penalty if you join later.

If you have employer or union coverage and you join a Medicare drug plan,
you may lose your employer or union coverage even if you qualify for Extra
Help. Call your employer’s benefits administrator before you join.

If you didn’t automatically qualify for Extra Help, you can apply
at anytime:

¦¦Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/i1020 to apply online.
¦¦Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to apply for Extra Help
by phone or to get a paper application. TTY users should call
1-800-325-0778.
¦¦Visit your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office. Visit
www.medicare.gov/contacts, or call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to get the phone number. TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048.
Note: With your consent, Social Security will forward information
to the Medicaid office in your state to start an application for a
Medicare Savings Program. See pages 99–100.

Drug costs in 2013 for most people who qualify will be no more
than $2.65 for each generic drug and $6.60 for each brand name
drug. Look on the Extra Help letters you get, or contact your plan
to find out your exact costs.

To get answers to your questions about Extra Help and help
choosing a drug plan, call your State Health Insurance Assistance
Program (SHIP). See pages 129–132 for the phone number. You can
also call 1-800-MEDICARE.

Paying the right amount

Medicare gets information from your state or Social Security that
tells whether you qualify for Extra Help. If Medicare doesn’t have
the right information, you may be paying the wrong amount for
your prescription drug coverage.

If you automatically qualify for Extra Help, you can show your
drug plan the colored letter you got from Medicare as proof that
you qualify. If you applied for Extra Help, you can show your
“Notice of Award” from Social Security as proof that you qualify.

You can also give your plan any of the documents listed on the
next page (also called “Best Available Evidence”) as proof that you
qualify for Extra Help. Your plan must accept these documents.
Each item must show that you were eligible for Medicaid during a
month after June of 2012.

Proof you have Medicaid and
live in an institution or get
home and community-based
services

Other proof you have
Medicaid

¦¦A bill from the institution (like
a nursing home) or a copy of a
state document showing Medicaid
payment to the institution for at
least a month
¦¦A print-out from your state’s
Medicaid system showing that
you lived in the institution for at
least a month
¦¦A document from your state that
shows you have Medicaid and are
getting home and community-
based services
¦¦A copy of your Medicaid card
(if you have one)
¦¦A copy of a state document that
shows you have Medicaid
¦¦A print-out from a state
electronic enrollment file or
from your state’s Medicaid
system that shows you have
Medicaid
¦¦Any other document from
your state that shows you have
Medicaid

 

 
If you aren’t already enrolled in a Medicare drug plan and paid for
prescriptions since you qualified for Extra Help, you may be able
to get back part of what you paid. Keep your receipts, and call
Medicare’s Limited Income Newly Eligible Transition (NET) Program
at 1-800-783-1307 for more information. TTY users should call
1-877-801-0369.

For more information, visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the
fact sheet “If You Get Extra Help, Make Sure You’re Paying the Right
Amount.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to find
out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Note: Keep all information you get from Medicare, Social Security, RRB,
your Medicare plan, Medicare Supplement Insurer, or employer or union.
This may include notices of award or denial, Annual Notices of Change,
notices of creditable prescription drug coverage, or Medicare Summary
Notices. You may need these documents to apply for the programs
explained in this section. Also keep copies of all applications you submit.

What if I need help paying my Medicare health care
costs?

Medicare Savings Programs

If you have limited income and resources, you may be able to get help
from your state to pay your Medicare costs if you meet certain conditions.

There are 4 kinds of Medicare Savings Programs:

1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program—Helps pay
for Part A and/or Part B premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and
copayments.
2. Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program—
Helps pay Part B premiums only.
3. Qualifying Individual (QI) Program—Helps pay Part B premiums
only. You must apply every year for QI benefits and the applications
are granted on a first-come first-served basis.
4. Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program—
Helps pay Part A premiums only. You may qualify for this program if
you have a disability and are working.
The names of these programs and how they work may vary by state.
Medicare Savings Programs aren’t available in Puerto Rico and the U.S.
Virgin Islands.

How do I qualify?

In most cases, to qualify for a Medicare Savings Program, you must have:

¦¦Part A
¦¦Monthly income less than $1,277 and resources less than $6,940—one
person
¦¦Monthly income less than $1,723 and resources less than $10,410—
married and living together
Note: These amounts may change each year. Many states figure your
income and resources differently, so you may qualify in your state even
if your income or resources are higher than the amounts listed above. If
you have income from working, you may qualify for benefits even if your
income is higher than the limits above. Resources include money in a
checking or savings account, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and Individual
Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Resources don’t include your home, car,
burial plot, burial expenses up to your state’s limit, furniture, or other
household items. Some states don’t have any limits on resources.

For more information

¦¦Call or visit your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office,
and ask for information on Medicare Savings Programs. Call
if you think you qualify for any of these programs, even if
you aren’t sure. To get the phone number for your state, visit
www.medicare.gov/contacts. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227), and say “Medicaid.” TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048.
¦¦Visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the brochure “Get
Help With Your Medicare Costs: Getting Started.” You can also call
1-800-MEDICARE to find out if a copy can be mailed to you.
¦¦Contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
See pages 129–132 for the phone number.
Medicaid

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps pay medical
costs if you have limited income and resources and meet other
requirements. Some people qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid
and are called “dual eligibles.”

What does Medicaid cover?

¦¦If you have Medicare and full Medicaid coverage, most of your
health care costs are covered. You can get your Medicare coverage
through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an
HMO or PPO).
¦¦If you have Medicare and full Medicaid, Medicare covers your
Part D prescription drugs. Medicaid may still cover some drugs
and other care that Medicare doesn’t cover.
¦¦People with Medicaid may get coverage for services that Medicare
doesn’t fully cover, like nursing home care and personal care
services.

 
How do I qualify?

¦¦Medicaid programs vary from state to state. They may also have
different names, like “Medical Assistance” or “Medi-Cal.”
¦¦Each state has different income and resource requirements.
¦¦In some states, you may need Medicare to be eligible for
Medicaid.
¦¦Call your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office
for more information and to see if you qualify. Visit
www.medicare.gov/contacts. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227), and say “Medicaid” to get the phone number
for your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office. TTY users
should call 1-877-486-2048.
Demonstration plans for people who have both Medicare and
Medicaid

Medicare is working with several states and health plans to create
demonstration plans for certain people who have both Medicare
and Medicaid, referred to as Medicare-Medicaid Plans. These plans
will be available in mid 2013 and will include all your Medicare
and Medicaid benefits, including drug coverage. If you’re interested
in joining a Medicare-Medicaid Plan, visit
www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan to find out if one is available in your
area. Contact your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) Office or
1-800-MEDICARE for more information.

State Pharmacy Assistance Programs (SPAPs)

Many states have SPAPs that help certain people pay for
prescription drugs based on financial need, age, or medical
condition. Each SPAP makes its own rules on how to provide drug
coverage to its members. To find out if there’s an SPAP in your
state and how it works, call your State Health Insurance Assistance
Program (SHIP). See pages 129–132 for the phone number.

Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (also called Patient
Assistance Programs)

Many major drug manufacturers offer assistance programs
for people with Medicare drug coverage who meet certain
requirements. Visit www.medicare.gov/pap/index.asp to learn more
about Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs.

Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program offered in many states
that allows people who need a nursing home-level of care to remain
in the community. See page 80 for more information.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits

SSI is a cash benefit paid by Social Security to people with limited
income and resources who are disabled, blind, or 65 or older.
SSI benefits help people meet basic needs for food, clothing, and
shelter. SSI benefits aren’t the same as Social Security benefits.

You can visit www.socialsecurity.gov, and use the “Benefit Eligibility
Screening Tool” to find out if you’re eligible for SSI or other
benefits. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or contact your
local Social Security office for more information. TTY users should
call 1-800-325-0778. Note: People who live in Puerto Rico, the U.S.
Virgin Islands, Guam, or American Samoa can’t get SSI.

Programs for people who live in the U.S. territories

There are programs in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam,
the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa to help
people with limited income and resources pay their Medicare costs.
Programs vary in these areas. Call your local Medical Assistance
(Medicaid) office to learn more, or call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) and say “Medicaid” for more information.
TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Do you have children or grandchildren who need health
insurance? CHIP provides low-cost health insurance coverage
to children in families who earn too much income to qualify for
Medicaid, but not enough to buy private health insurance. Each
state has its own program, with its own eligibility rules. Visit
www.insurekidsnow.gov or call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669)
for more information about CHIP in your state.

Section 8—
Know Your Rights & How to
Protect Yourself from Fraud

What are my Medicare rights?

No matter how you get your Medicare, you have certain
rights and protections. All people with Medicare have the
right to:

¦¦Be treated with dignity and respect at all times
¦¦Be protected from discrimination
¦¦Have your personal and health information kept private
¦¦Get information in a way you understand from Medicare,
health care providers, and Medicare contractors
¦¦Have questions about Medicare answered
¦¦Have access to doctors, other health care providers,
specialists, and hospitals
¦¦Learn about your treatment choices in clear language that
you can understand, and participate in treatment decisions
¦¦Get emergency care when and where you need it
¦¦Get a decision about health care payment, coverage of
services, or prescription drug coverage
¦¦Request a review (appeal) of certain decisions about health
care payment, coverage of services, or prescription drug
coverage
¦¦File complaints (sometimes called grievances), including
complaints about the quality of your care

 
What if my plan stops participating in Medicare?

Medicare health and prescription drug plans can decide not to participate
in Medicare for the coming year. Plans that choose to leave Medicare
entirely or in certain areas are “non-renewing.” In these cases, your
coverage under the plan will end after December 31. The plan will send
you a letter about your options before Open Enrollment. You can always
choose another plan effective January 1 if you do so between October 15–
December 7. If your plan is non-renewing for the next year, you’ll also have
a special right to join another Medicare plan until February 28, 2013.

If you want to continue to have Medicare prescription drug coverage
(Part D) or a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), without any
interruption in coverage, you’ll need to join a new plan by December 31.
If you don’t join a new Medicare Advantage Plan by December 31, you’ll
continue to have Medicare coverage through Original Medicare on
January 1, but if you don’t join a Part D plan by that date, you won’t have
Medicare drug coverage.

¦¦Generally, if you’re in a Medicare health plan, you’ll automatically return
to Original Medicare if you don’t choose to join another Medicare health
plan. You’ll also have the right to buy certain Medigap policies within 63
days after your plan coverage ends. If you return to Original Medicare,
you can also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
¦¦If you’re in a Medicare drug plan, you’ll have the right to join another
Medicare drug plan or a Medicare health plan with drug coverage. If you
don’t join a new plan, you won’t have Part D.
What’s an appeal?

An appeal is the action you can take if you disagree with a coverage or
payment decision by Medicare or your Medicare plan. For example, you
can appeal if Medicare or your plan denies:

¦¦A request for a health care service, supply, item, or prescription drug that
you think you should be able to get
¦¦A request for payment of a health care service, supply, item, or
prescription drug you already got
¦¦A request to change the amount you must pay for a health care service,
supply, item, or prescription drug
You can also appeal if Medicare or your plan stops providing or paying for
all or part of an item or service you think you still need.

If you decide to file an appeal, you can ask your doctor or other health
care provider or supplier for any information that may help your case.
Keep a copy of everything you send to Medicare as part of your appeal.

How do I file an appeal?

How you file an appeal depends on the type of Medicare coverage you
have:

If you have Original Medicare

1. Get the “Medicare Summary Notice” (MSN) that shows the item
or service you’re appealing. Your MSN is the notice you get every 3
months that lists all the services billed to Medicare and tells you if
Medicare paid for the services. See pages 59–60.
2. Circle the item(s) you disagree with on the MSN, and write an
explanation of why you disagree with the decision on the MSN or on
a separate piece of paper and attach it to the MSN.
3. Include your name, phone number, and Medicare number on the
MSN and sign it. Keep a copy for your records.
4. Send the MSN, or a copy, to the company that handles bills
for Medicare listed on the MSN. You can include any other
additional information you have about your appeal. Or you can
use CMS Form 20027, and file it with the Medicare contractor
at the address listed on the notice. To view or print this form,
visit www.cms.gov/cmsforms/downloads/cms20027.pdf, or call
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be
mailed to you. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
5. You must file the appeal within 120 days of the date you get the MSN
in the mail.
You’ll generally get a decision from the Medicare contractor within 60
days after they get your request. If Medicare will cover the item(s) or
service(s), it will be listed on your next MSN.

If you have a Medicare health plan

Learn how to file an appeal by looking at the materials your plan sends
you, calling your plan, or visiting www.medicare.gov/publications
to view the booklet “Medicare Appeals.” You can also call
1-800-MEDICARE to find out if a copy can be mailed to you.

In some cases, you can file a fast appeal. See materials from your plan
and page 107.

If you have a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

You have the right to do all of the following (even before you buy a
certain drug):

¦¦Get a written explanation (called a “coverage determination”) from
your Medicare drug plan. A coverage determination is the first
decision made by your Medicare drug plan (not the pharmacy) about
your benefits, including whether a certain drug is covered, whether
you’ve met the requirements to get a requested drug, how much you
pay for a drug, and whether to make an exception to a plan rule when
you request it.
¦¦Ask for an exception if you or your prescriber (your doctor or other
health care provider who is legally allowed to write prescriptions)
believes you need a drug that isn’t on your plan’s formulary.
¦¦Ask for an exception if you or your prescriber believes that a coverage
rule (like prior authorization) should be waived.
¦¦Ask for an exception if you think you should pay less for a higher tier
(more expensive) drug because you or your prescriber believes you
can’t take any of the lower tier (less expensive) drugs for the same
condition.
How do I ask for a coverage determination?

You or your prescriber must contact your plan to ask for a coverage
determination or an exception. If your network pharmacy can’t fill a
prescription, the pharmacist will give you a notice that explains how to
contact your Medicare drug plan so you can make your request. If the
pharmacist doesn’t give you this notice, ask for a copy.

You or your prescriber may make a standard request by phone or in
writing, if you’re asking for prescription drug benefits you haven’t
gotten yet. If you’re asking to get paid back for prescription drugs you
already bought, your plan can require you or your prescriber to make
the standard request in writing.

You or your prescriber can call or write your plan for an expedited
(fast) request. Your request will be expedited if you haven’t gotten the
prescription and your plan determines, or your prescriber tells your
plan, that your life or health may be at risk by waiting.

If you’re requesting an exception, your prescriber must provide a
statement explaining the medical reason why the exception should be
approved.

How can I get help filing an appeal?

For more information about the different levels of appeals in a
Medicare drug plan, visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the
booklet “Medicare Appeals.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY users
should call 1-877-486-2048.

You can get help filing an appeal from your State Health Insurance
Assistance Program (SHIP). See pages 129–132 for the phone number.

What are my rights if I think my services are ending
too soon?

If you’re getting Medicare services from a hospital, skilled
nursing facility, home health agency, comprehensive outpatient
rehabilitation facility, or hospice, and you think your
Medicare-covered services are ending too soon, you can ask
for a fast appeal. Your provider will give you a notice before
your services end that will tell you how to ask for a fast appeal.
You should read this notice carefully. If you don’t get this
notice, ask your provider for it.

How do I ask for a fast appeal?

With a fast appeal, an independent reviewer, called a Quality
Improvement Organization (QIO), will decide if your services should
continue.

¦¦Ask your doctor or other health care provider for any information that
may help your case if you decide to file a fast appeal.
¦¦Call your QIO to request a fast appeal no later than the time shown on
the notice you get from your provider. Use the phone number for your
QIO listed on your notice to request your appeal.
¦¦If you miss the deadline, you still have appeal rights:
—If you have Original Medicare, call your QIO.

—If you’re in a Medicare health plan, read your notice carefully
and follow the instructions for filing an appeal with your plan.
You can also call your plan.

Visit www.medicare.gov/contacts or call 1-800-MEDICARE to get the
phone number for the QIO in your state.

What’s an Advance Beneficiary Notice of
Noncoverage (ABN)?

If you have Original Medicare, your doctor, other health care
provider, or supplier may give you a notice called an “Advance
Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage” (ABN). This notice says
Medicare probably (or certainly) won’t pay for some services in
certain situations.

What happens if I get an ABN?

¦¦You’ll be asked to choose whether to get the items or services listed
on the ABN.
¦¦If you choose to get the items or services listed on the ABN, you’re
agreeing to pay if Medicare doesn’t.
¦¦You’ll be asked to sign the ABN to say that you’ve read and
understood it.
¦¦Doctors, other health care providers, and suppliers don’t have to
(but still may) give you an ABN for services that Medicare never
covers. See page 52.
¦¦An ABN isn’t an official denial of coverage by Medicare. You
could choose to get the items listed on the ABN and still ask your
health care provider or supplier to submit the claim to Medicare
or another insurer. If Medicare denies payment, you can still file
an appeal. However, you’ll have to pay for the items or services if
Medicare determines that the items or services aren’t covered (and
no other insurer is responsible for payment).
Can I get an ABN for other reasons?

¦¦You may get a Home Health ABN for other reasons, like when
your doctor or other health care provider makes changes to or
reduces your home health care.
¦¦You may get a Skilled Nursing Facility ABN when the facility
believes Medicare will no longer cover your stay or other items and
services.

 
What if I didn’t get an ABN?

¦¦If your provider was required to give you an ABN but didn’t, in
most cases your provider must pay you back what you paid for the
item or service.
For more information if you’re in a Medicare plan, call your plan to
find out if a service or item will be covered.

Visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the booklet
“Medicare Appeals.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY
users should call 1-877-486-2048.

How does Medicare use my personal
information?

Medicare protects the privacy of your health information. The next
2 pages describe how your information may be used and given out
by law and explain how you can get this information.

Notice of Privacy Practices for Original Medicare

This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed
and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

By law, Medicare is required to protect the privacy of your personal medical information.
Medicare is also required to give you this notice to tell you how Medicare may use and give
out (“disclose”) your personal medical information held by Medicare.

Medicare must use and give out your personal medical information to provide information
to the following:

¦¦To you or someone who has the legal right to act for you (your personal representative)
¦¦To the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, if necessary, to make
sure your privacy is protected
¦¦Where required by law
Medicare has the right to use and give out your personal medical information to pay for
your health care and to operate the Medicare Program. Examples include the following:

¦¦Companies that pay bills for Medicare use your personal medical information to pay or
deny your claims, to collect your premiums, to share your payment information with
your other insurer(s), or to prepare your “Medicare Summary Notice.”
¦¦Medicare may use your personal medical information to make sure you and other people
with Medicare get quality health care, to provide customer service to you, to resolve any
complaints you have, or to contact you about research studies.
Medicare may use or give out your personal medical information for the following
purposes under limited circumstances:

¦¦Where allowed by federal law to state and other federal agencies that need Medicare data
for their program operations (like to make sure Medicare is making proper payments or
to coordinate benefits between programs)
¦¦To your health care providers so they know what other treatments you’ve gotten and to
coordinate your care (for example, for programs to ensure the delivery of quality health
care)
¦¦For public health activities (like reporting disease outbreaks)
¦¦For government health care oversight activities (like fraud and abuse investigations)
¦¦For judicial and administrative proceedings (like in response to a court order)
¦¦For law enforcement purposes (like providing limited information to locate a missing
person)
¦¦For research studies, including surveys, that meet all privacy law requirements (like
research related to the prevention of disease or disability)
¦¦To avoid a serious and imminent threat to health or safety
¦¦To contact you about new or changed coverage under Medicare
¦¦To create a collection of information that can no longer be traced back to you

 
By law, Medicare must have your written permission (an “authorization”) to use or give
out your personal medical information for any purpose that isn’t set out in this notice.
You may take back (“revoke”) your written permission anytime, except to the extent that
Medicare has already acted based on your permission.

By law, you have the right to take these actions:

¦¦See and get a copy of your personal medical information held by Medicare.
¦¦Have your personal medical information amended if you believe that it is wrong or if
information is missing, and Medicare agrees. If Medicare disagrees, you may have a
statement of your disagreement added to your personal medical information.
¦¦Get a listing of those getting your personal medical information from Medicare.
The listing won’t cover your personal medical information that was given to you or your
personal representative, that was given out to pay for your health care or for Medicare
operations, or that was given out for law enforcement purposes if it would likely get in
the way of these purposes.
¦¦Ask Medicare to communicate with you in a different manner or at a different place (for
example, by sending materials to a P.O. Box instead of your home address).
¦¦Ask Medicare to limit how your personal medical information is used and given out to
pay your claims and run the Medicare Program. Please note that Medicare may not be
able to agree to your request.
¦¦Get a separate paper copy of this notice.
Visit www.medicare.gov for more information on the following:

¦¦Exercising your rights set out in this notice.
¦¦Filing a complaint, if you believe Original Medicare has violated these privacy rights.
Filing a complaint won’t affect your coverage under Medicare.
You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to get this information. Ask to
speak to a customer service representative about Medicare’s privacy notice. TTY users
should call 1-877-486-2048.

You may file a complaint with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human
Services. Call the Office for Civil Rights at 1-800-368-1019. TTY users should call
1-800-537-7697. You can also visit www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy.

By law, Medicare is required to follow the terms in this privacy notice. Medicare has the
right to change the way your personal medical information is used and given out.
If Medicare makes any changes to the way your personal medical information is used and
given out, you’ll get a new notice by mail within 60 days of the change.

The Notice of Privacy Practices for Original Medicare became effective April 14, 2003.

How can I protect myself from identity theft?

Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information
without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Personal
information includes things like your name and your Social Security,
Medicare, credit card, or bank account numbers. Guard your card.
Protect your Medicare number. Keep this information safe.

Only give personal information, like your Medicare number,
to doctors, other health care providers, and plans approved by
Medicare; any insurer who pays benefits on your behalf; and to
trusted people in the community who work with Medicare, like
your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) or Social
Security. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) if you aren’t
sure if a provider is approved by Medicare. TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048.

If you suspect identity theft, or feel like you gave your personal
information to someone you shouldn’t have, call your local police
department and the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Hotline
at 1-877-438-4338. TTY users should call 1-866-653-4261. Visit
www.ftc.gov/idtheft to learn more about identity theft.

How can I protect myself & Medicare from fraud?

Most doctors, pharmacists, plans, and other health care providers who
work with Medicare are honest. Unfortunately, there may be some who
are dishonest. Medicare fraud happens when Medicare is billed for
services or supplies you never got. Medicare fraud costs Medicare a lot
of money each year.

Check your statements for mistakes

When you get health care services, record the dates on a calendar
and save the receipts and statements you get from providers to check
for mistakes. If you think you see an error or are billed for services
you didn’t get, do the following to find out what was billed:

¦¦Check your “Medicare Summary Notice” (MSN) if you have
Original Medicare to see if the service was billed to Medicare.
If you’re in a Medicare plan, check the statements you get from
your plan.
¦¦If you know the health care provider or supplier, call and ask for an
itemized statement. They should give this to you within 30 days.
¦¦Visit www.MyMedicare.gov to view your Medicare claims if
you have Original Medicare. Your claims are generally available
online within 24 hours after processing. The sooner you see and
report errors, the sooner we can stop fraud. You can also call
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048.
If you’ve contacted the provider and you suspect that Medicare is
being charged for a service or supply that you didn’t get, or you
don’t know the provider on the claim, call 1-800-MEDICARE.

For more information on protecting yourself from Medicare
fraud and tips for spotting and reporting fraud, visit
www.stopmedicarefraud.gov, or contact your local SMP Program.
See page 114.

Plans must follow rules

Medicare plans must follow certain rules when marketing their plans and
getting your enrollment information. They can’t ask you for credit card or
banking information over the phone or via email, unless you’re already a
member of that plan. Medicare plans can’t enroll you into a plan over the
phone unless you call them and ask to enroll.

Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to report any plans that:

¦¦Ask for your personal information over the phone
¦¦Call to enroll you in a plan
¦¦Use false information to mislead you
You can also call the Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor (MEDIC)
at 1-877-7SAFERX (1-877-772-3379). The MEDIC helps prevent
inappropriate activity and fights fraud, waste, and abuse in Medicare
Advantage (Part C) and Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) Programs.

For more information on the rules that Medicare plans must follow,
visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view the booklet “Protecting
Medicare and You from Fraud.” You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227) to find out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY users
should call 1-877-486-2048.

Reporting suspected Medicaid fraud

You can report Medicaid fraud to your State Medical Assistance
(Medicaid) office. Visit www.cms.gov/fraudabuseforconsumers to learn
more. Medicaid fraud can also be reported to the OIG National Fraud
hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).

What is the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program ?

The SMP Program educates and empowers people with Medicare to take
an active role in detecting and preventing health care fraud and abuse.
The SMP Program not only protects people with Medicare, it also helps
preserve Medicare. There’s an SMP Program in every state, the District of
Columbia, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Contact your
local SMP Program to get personalized counseling and to find out about
community events in your area. For more information or to find your
local SMP Program, visit www.smpresource.org, or call 1-877-808-2468.
You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE.

Fighting fraud can pay

You may get a reward if you meet certain conditions. For
more information, visit www.stopmedicarefraud.gov or call
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048.

Investigating fraud takes time

Medicare takes all reports of suspected fraud seriously. When you
report fraud, you may not hear of an outcome right away. It takes
time to investigate your report and build a case.

Am I protected from discrimination?

Every company or agency that works with Medicare must obey
the law. You can’t be treated differently because of your race, color,
national origin, disability, age, religion, or sex. If you think that
you haven’t been treated fairly for any of these reasons, call the
Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights
at 1-800-368-1019. TTY users should call 1-800-537-7697. You can
also visit www.hhs.gov/ocr for more information.

What is the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman?

An “ombudsman” is a person who reviews complaints and helps
resolve them. The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman makes sure
information about the following is available to all people with
Medicare:

¦¦Your Medicare coverage
¦¦Information to help you make good health care decisions
¦¦Your Medicare rights and protections
¦¦How you can get issues resolved
The Ombudsman reviews the concerns raised by people with
Medicare through 1-800-MEDICARE and through your State
Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

Visit www.medicare.gov/ombudsman/resources.asp for
information on inquiries and complaints, activities of the
Ombudsman, and what people with Medicare need to know.

What is the Long-term Care Ombudsman?

Residents of long-term care facilities (like nursing homes, assisted
living, and board and care homes) also have access to a long-term
care ombudsman. These ombudsmen provide information about
how to find a facility, how to get quality care, and can help you with
complaints.

The long-term care ombudsman is funded by the Older Americans
Act and is available to any long-term care facility resident. For
more information, visit www.ltcombudsman.org. You can also call
the ElderCare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 to get the phone number
for your local ombudsman program office.

How do I plan for long-term care?

Long-term care includes medical and non-medical
care for people who have a chronic illness or disability.
Non-medical care includes non-skilled personal care
assistance, like help with everyday activities, including
dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. At least 70{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}
of people over 65 will need long-term care services at
some point. Medicare and most health insurance plans,
including Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)
policies, don’t pay for this type of care, also called
“custodial care.” Long-term care can be provided at
home, in the community, in an assisted living facility,
or in a nursing home. It’s important to start planning
for long-term care now to maintain your independence
and to make sure you get the care you may need in the
future.
Section 9—
Plan Ahead for Long-Term Care

How do I pay for long-term care?

Long-term care insurance—This type of private insurance can help pay
for many types of long-term care, including both skilled and non-skilled
(custodial) care. Long-term care insurance policies can vary widely.
Some policies may cover only nursing home care. Others may include
coverage for a range of services, like adult day care, assisted living,
medical equipment, and informal home care.

Note: Long-term care insurance doesn’t replace your Medicare coverage.

Your current or former employer or union may offer long-term care
insurance. Current and retired federal employees, active and retired
members of the uniformed services, and their qualified relatives can
apply for coverage under the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance
Program. If you have questions, visit www.opm.gov/insure/ltc, or call
the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program at 1-800-582-3337.
TTY users should call 1-800-843-3557.

Personal resources—You can use your own resources to pay for
long-term care. Some insurance companies let you use your life
insurance policy to pay for long-term care. Ask your insurance agent
how this works.

Other private options—Besides long-term care insurance and personal
resources, you may choose to pay for long-term care through a trust or
annuity. The best option for you depends on your age, health status, risk
of needing long-term care, and your personal financial situation. Visit
www.longtermcare.gov for more information about your options.

Medicaid—Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that pays for
certain health services for people with limited income and resources. If
you qualify, you may be able to get help to pay for nursing home care or
other health care costs.

If you’re already eligible for Medicaid, you or your family members
may be able to get help with the costs of services that help you stay in
your home instead of moving to a nursing home. Examples of home
and community-based services include homemaker services, personal
care, and respite care. For more information, contact your State Medical
Assistance (Medicaid) office. Visit www.medicare.gov/contacts or call
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), and say “Medicaid” to get the
phone number. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. See page 100 for
more information about Medicaid.

Veterans’ benefits—The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
may provide long-term care for service-related disabilities or for
certain eligible veterans. The VA also has a Housebound and
an Aid and Attendance Allowance Program that provides cash
grants to eligible disabled veterans and surviving spouses instead
of formally-provided homemaker, personal care, and other
services needed for help at home. For more information, visit
www.va.gov, or call the VA at 1-800-827-1000.

Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)—PACE is a
Medicare and Medicaid program offered in many states that allows
people who otherwise need a nursing home-level of care to remain
in the community. See page 80 for more information.

Long-term care contacts

Use these resources to get more information about long-term care:

¦¦Visit www.medicare.gov/ltcplanning. You can visit
www.medicare.gov/nhcompare to compare nursing homes or
www.medicare.gov/hhcompare to compare home health agencies
in your area.
¦¦Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call
1-877-486-2048.
¦¦Visit www.longtermcare.gov to learn more about planning for
long-term care.
¦¦Call your State Insurance Department to get information about
long-term care insurance. Call 1-800-MEDICARE to get the
phone number.
¦¦Call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). See
pages 129–132 for the phone number.
¦¦Call the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at
1-866-470-6242 to get a copy of “A Shopper’s Guide to Long-Term
Care Insurance.”
¦¦Visit the Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S.
Administration on Aging, at www.eldercare.gov to find your local
Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC). You can also
call 1-800-677-1116. ADRCs offer a full range of long-term care
services and support in a single, coordinated program.

 
What are advance directives?

Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to put in
writing what kind of health care you would want or name someone
who can speak for you if you were too ill to speak for yourself.

These legal documents help ensure your wishes are
followed, but it’s important to talk to your family,
friends, and health care providers about your wishes.
You should also make sure that your family, friends,
and health care providers have copies of your legal
documents. It’s better to think about these important
decisions and have plans in place before you’re ill or a
crisis strikes.

Advance directives most often include:

¦¦A health care proxy (sometimes called a “durable power of
attorney for health care”). This is used to name the person you
want to make health care decisions for you if you aren’t able to
make them yourself.
¦¦A living will. This is another way to make sure your voice is heard.
It states which medical treatment you would accept or refuse if
your life is threatened.
¦¦After-death wishes. These may include choices like organ and
tissue donation.
Each state has its own laws for creating advance directives.
Some states may allow you to combine your advance directives in
one document.

What if I already have advance directives?

Take time now to review them to be sure you’re still satisfied with
your decisions and the person you identify in your health care
proxy is still willing and able to carry out your plans. Find out how
to cancel or update them in your state if they no longer reflect your
wishes.

For more information, contact your health care provider, an
attorney, your local Area Agency on Aging, your state health
department, or visit www.eldercare.gov.

Where can I get personalized help?

1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

TTY users call 1-877-486-2048

Get information 24 hours a day, including weekends

¦¦Speak clearly, have your Medicare card in front of you,
and be ready to provide your Medicare number. This
helps reduce the amount of time you may wait to speak
to a customer service representative. It also allows us to
play messages that may specifically impact your coverage
and may help us get you to a representative more quickly.
¦¦To enter your Medicare number, speak the numbers and
letter(s) clearly one at a time. Or, enter your Medicare
number on the phone keypad. Use the star key to
indicate any place there may be a letter. For example,
if your Medicare number is 000-00-0000A, you would
enter 0-0-0-0-0- 0-0-0-0-*. The voice system will then
ask you for that letter.
¦¦Use 1 or 2 words to briefly say what you’re calling about.
Tip: You can say “Agent” at anytime to talk
to a customer service representative.

If you need help in a language other than
English or Spanish, let the customer service
representative know.
Section 10—
Get More Information

If you want someone to be able to call 1-800-MEDICARE on
your behalf, you need to let Medicare know in writing. You can
fill out a “Medicare Authorization to Disclose Personal Health
Information” form so Medicare can give your personal health
information to someone other than you. You can do this by
visiting www.medicare.gov/medicareonlineforms or by calling
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to get a copy of the form. TTY users
should call 1-877-486-2048. You may want to do this now in case you
become unable to do it later.

People who get benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
should call 1-800-833-4455 with questions about Part B services and bills.

Did your household get more than one copy of “Medicare & You?”

If you want to get only one copy in future, call 1-800-MEDICARE, and
say “Agent.” If you get RRB benefits, call 1-877-772-5772.

What are State Health Insurance Assistance
Programs (SHIPs)?

SHIPs are state programs that get money from the federal government
to give local health insurance counseling to people with Medicare.
SHIPs aren’t connected to any insurance company or health plan. SHIP
volunteers work hard to help you with the following Medicare questions
or concerns:

¦¦Your Medicare rights
¦¦Billing problems
¦¦Complaints about your medical care or treatment
¦¦Plan choices
¦¦How Medicare works with other insurance
See pages 129–132 for the phone number of your local SHIP. If you
would like to become a volunteer SHIP counselor, contact the SHIP
in your state to learn more.

Where can I find Medicare information online?

Need general information about Medicare?

Visit www.medicare.gov

¦¦Get detailed information about the Medicare health and prescription
drug plans in your area, including what they cost and what services
they provide.
¦¦Find doctors or other health care providers and suppliers who
participate in Medicare.
¦¦See what Medicare covers, including preventive services.
¦¦Get Medicare appeals information and forms.
¦¦Get information about the quality of care provided by plans, nursing
homes, hospitals, home health agencies, and dialysis facilities.
¦¦Look up helpful websites and phone numbers.
Need personalized Medicare information?

Register at www.MyMedicare.gov

¦¦Complete your “Initial Enrollment Questionnaire” so your claims
can get paid correctly.
¦¦Manage your personal information (like medical conditions,
allergies, and implanted devices).
¦¦Sign up to get this handbook electronically. You won’t get a printed
copy if you choose to get it electronically.
¦¦Manage your personal drug list and pharmacy information.
¦¦Search for, add to, and manage a list of your favorite providers
and access quality information about them.
¦¦Track Original Medicare claims and your Part B deductible status.
¦¦View and order copies of your “Medicare Summary Notice.”
¦¦Get access to your personal health information by using Medicare’s
“Blue Button.”
Need help finding other health insurance options?

Visit www.healthcare.gov

¦¦Take control of your health care with new information and resources
that will help you access quality and affordable health coverage.
¦¦Find public and private health coverage options tailored to your
needs in a single easy-to-use tool.

 
How do I compare the quality of plans and
providers?

You can’t always plan ahead when you need health care, but when
you can, take time to compare. Medicare collects information
about the quality and safety of medical care and services given
by most Medicare plans and health care providers. Medicare also
has information about the experiences of people with the care and
services they get.

Compare the quality of care (how well plans and providers work
to give you the best care possible) and services given by health and
prescription drug plans or health care providers nationwide by
visiting www.medicare.gov or by calling your State Health Insurance
Assistance Program (SHIP). See pages 129–132 for the phone number.

When you, a family member, friend, or SHIP counselor visit
www.medicare.gov, under “Resource Locator,” select:

¦¦“Hospital Compare”
¦¦“Nursing Home Compare”
¦¦“Home Health Compare”
¦¦“Dialysis Facility Compare”
¦¦“Physician Compare”
¦¦“Medicare Plan Finder”
These search tools on www.medicare.gov give you a “snapshot” of the
quality of care and services some plans and providers give. Medicare
Plan Finder and Nursing Home Compare both feature a star rating
system to help you compare plans and quality of care measures that
are important to you. Find out more about the quality of care and
services by:

¦¦Asking what your plan or provider does to ensure and improve the
quality of care and services. Each plan and health care provider
should have someone you can talk to about quality.
¦¦Asking your doctor or other health care provider what he or
she thinks about the quality of care or services the plan or other
providers give. You can also talk to your doctor or other health
care provider about Medicare’s information on quality of care and
services.

 
What’s Medicare doing to better coordinate my
care?

Medicare continues to look for ways to better coordinate your care
and to make sure that you get the best health care possible. Health
information technology (also called Health IT) and improved ways
to deliver your care can help manage your health information,
improve how you communicate with your health care providers,
and improve the quality and coordination of your health care. These
tools also reduce paperwork, medical errors, and health care costs.

Here are examples of how your health care providers can better
coordinate your care:

Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

—A record that your doctor,
other health care provider, medical office staff, or a hospital keeps
on a computer about your health care or treatments.

¦¦EHRs can help lower the chances of medical errors, eliminate
duplicate tests, and may improve your overall quality of care.
¦¦Your doctor’s EHR may be able to link to a hospital, lab,
pharmacy, or other doctors, so the people who care for you can
have a more complete picture of your health. You also have the
right to get a copy of your health information for your own
personal use and to make sure the information is complete and
accurate.
Electronic prescribing

—An electronic way for your prescribers
(your doctor or other health care provider who is legally allowed
to write prescriptions) to send your prescriptions directly to your
pharmacy. Electronic prescribing can save you money, time, and
help keep you safe.

¦¦You don’t have to drop off and wait for your prescription. Your
prescription may be ready when you arrive.
¦¦Prescribers can check which drugs your insurance covers and
may be able to prescribe a drug that costs you less.
¦¦Electronic prescriptions are easier for the pharmacist to read than
handwritten prescriptions. This means there’s less chance that
you’ll get the wrong drug or dose.
¦¦Prescribers can be alerted to potential drug interactions, allergies,
and other warnings.

 
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

—An ACO is a group of doctors
and other health care providers who agree to work together with Medicare to
give you the best possible care by making sure they have the most up-to-date
information about you. ACOs are designed to help your providers work
together more closely to give you a more coordinated patient-centered
experience.

If you have Original Medicare and your doctor has decided to participate in
an ACO, you’ll be notified, either in person or by letter, that your doctor is
participating in an ACO and that the ACO may request your personal health
information to better coordinate your care. The notice will allow you to decline
having your claims information shared with the ACO. Your Medicare benefits,
services, and protections won’t change, and you still have the right to use any
doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare at any time, the same way you do now.

For more information, visit www.medicare.gov/acos.html or call
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Can I manage my health information online?

Here’s what you can do to help manage your health information:

Personal Health Records (PHRs)—A record with information about your
health that you or someone helping you keeps on a computer for easy reference.

¦¦These tools can help you manage your health information from anywhere you
have Internet access.
¦¦With a PHR, you can keep track of health information, like the date of your
last yearly “Wellness” visit, major illnesses, operations, allergies, or a list of
your prescriptions.
¦¦PHRs are often offered by providers, health plans, and private companies.
Some are free, while others charge fees.
¦¦When you use a PHR, make sure that it’s on a secure website. With a secure
website, you usually have to create a unique user ID and password, and the
information you type is encrypted (put in code) so other people can’t read it.
¦¦Read the PHR’s notice of privacy practices. It should tell you how the PHR is
protecting your information and how it may use or disclose your information.
There are federal and state laws that protect the privacy and security of
your information. PHRs that aren’t sponsored or maintained by health
plans or health care providers may not have to follow federal or state
laws that protect the privacy of your health information.

 

 

 
Are there other ways to get Medicare
information?

Publications

Visit www.medicare.gov/publications to view, print, or download
copies of booklets, brochures, or fact sheets on different Medicare
topics. You can search by keyword (like “rights” or “mental
health”), or select “View All Publications.”

If the publication you want has a check box after “Order
Publication,” you can have a printed copy mailed to you. You
can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and say
“Publications” to find out if a printed copy can be mailed to you.
TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. Some publications are also
available as podcasts that you can download and listen to.

Videos

Visit www.YouTube.com/cmshhsgov to see videos covering
different health care topics on Medicare’s YouTube channel.

Messages/Tweets

Follow official Medicare information at @CMSGov and the
Children’s Health Insurance Program at @IKNGov.

Blogs

Visit http://blog.medicare.gov/feed/ or http://blog.cms.gov/feed/
for up-to-date news and activity information from our websites.

Save tax dollars and help the environment by signing up to
get your future “Medicare & You” handbooks electronically
(also called the “eHandbook”). Visit www.MyMedicare.gov to
request eHandbooks. We’ll send you an email next September
when the new eHandbook is available. You won’t get a printed
copy of your handbook in the mail if you choose to get it
electronically.

 

 

Are resources available for caregivers?

Yes, Medicare has resources to help you get the information you
need. To find out more:

¦¦Visit “Ask Medicare” at www.medicare.gov/caregivers to help
someone you care for choose a drug plan, compare nursing
homes, get help with billing, and more.
¦¦Sign up for the bi-monthly “Ask Medicare” electronic newsletter
(e-Newsletter) when you go to www.medicare.gov/caregivers.
The e-Newsletter has the latest information including important
dates, Medicare changes, and resources in your community.
¦¦Visit the Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S.
Administration on Aging, at www.eldercare.gov, or call
1-800-677-1116 to find caregiver support services in your area.

 
This page has been intentionally left blank. The printed version contains
phone number information. For the most recent phone number information,
please visit www.medicare.gov/contacts/home.asp. Thank you.
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs)

For help with questions about appeals, buying other insurance, choosing a
health plan, buying a Medigap policy, and Medicare rights and protections.

This page has been intentionally left blank. The printed version contains
phone number information. For the most recent phone number information,
please visit www.medicare.gov/contacts/home.asp. Thank you.

This page has been intentionally left blank. The printed version contains
phone number information. For the most recent phone number information,
please visit www.medicare.gov/contacts/home.asp. Thank you.

This page has been intentionally left blank. The printed version contains
phone number information. For the most recent phone number information,
please visit www.medicare.gov/contacts/home.asp. Thank you.

Section 11—
Definitions

Assignment

—An agreement by your doctor, other health
care provider, or supplier to be paid directly by Medicare,
to accept the payment amount Medicare approves for the
service, and not to bill you for any more than the Medicare
deductible and coinsurance.

Benefit period

—The way that Original Medicare measures
your use of hospital and skilled nursing facility (SNF)
services. A benefit period begins the day you’re admitted
as an inpatient in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. The
benefit period ends when you haven’t received any inpatient
hospital care (or skilled care in a SNF) for 60 days in a row.
If you go into a hospital or a skilled nursing facility after one
benefit period has ended, a new benefit period begins. You
must pay the inpatient hospital deductible for each benefit
period. There’s no limit to the number of benefit periods.

Coinsurance

—An amount you may be required to pay
as your share of the cost for services after you pay any
deductibles. Coinsurance is usually a percentage (for
example, 20{57afd372ef552335ba870edf523b8e4a4ddf98dad7cf21c72091c800f1bfac05}).

Copayment

—An amount you may be required to pay as
your share of the cost for a medical service or supply, like
a doctor’s visit, hospital outpatient visit, or prescription. A
copayment is usually a set amount, rather than a percentage.
For example, you might pay $10 or $20 for a doctor’s visit or
prescription.

Creditable prescription drug coverage

—Prescription
drug coverage (for example, from an employer or union)
that’s expected to pay, on average, at least as much as
Medicare’s standard prescription drug coverage. People who
have this kind of coverage when they become eligible for
Medicare can generally keep that coverage without paying
a penalty, if they decide to enroll in Medicare prescription
drug coverage later.

Critical access hospital

—A small facility that provides outpatient
services, as well as inpatient services on a limited basis, to people in
rural areas.

Custodial care

—Nonskilled personal care, such as help with
activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, eating, getting in or
out of a bed or chair, moving around, and using the bathroom. It
may also include the kind of health-related care that most people do
themselves, like using eye drops. In most cases, Medicare doesn’t
pay for custodial care.

Deductible

—The amount you must pay for health care or
prescriptions before Original Medicare, your prescription drug plan,
or your other insurance begins to pay.

Demonstrations

—Special projects, sometimes called “pilot
programs” or “research studies,” that test changes in Medicare
coverage, payment, and quality of care. They usually operate for a
limited time, for a specific group of people, and in specific areas.

Extra help

—A Medicare program to help people with limited
income and resources pay Medicare prescription drug plan costs,
such as premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.

Formulary

—A list of prescription drugs covered by a prescription
drug plan or another insurance plan offering prescription drug
benefits.

Inpatient rehabilitation facility

—A hospital, or part of a hospital,
that provides an intensive rehabilitation program to inpatients.

Institution

—For the purposes of this publication, an institution is a
facility that provides short-term or long-term care, such as a nursing
home, skilled nursing facility (SNF), or rehabilitation hospital.
Private residences, such as an assisted living facility or group home,
aren’t considered institutions for this purpose.

Lifetime reserve days

—In Original Medicare, these are additional
days that Medicare will pay for when you’re in a hospital for more
than 90 days. You have a total of 60 reserve days that can be used
during your lifetime. For each lifetime reserve day, Medicare pays
all covered costs except for a daily coinsurance.

Long-term care

—A variety of services that help people with their
medical and non-medical needs over a period of time. Long-term
care can be provided at home, in the community, or in various
other types of facilities, including nursing homes and assisted
living facilities. Most long-term care is custodial care. Medicare
doesn’t pay for this type of care if this is the only kind of care you
need.

Long-term care hospital

—Acute care hospitals that provide
treatment for patients who stay, on average, more than 25 days.
Most patients are transferred from an intensive or critical care unit.
Services provided include comprehensive rehabilitation, respiratory
therapy, head trauma treatment, and pain management.

Medically necessary

—Services or supplies that are needed for
the diagnosis or treatment of your medical condition and meet
accepted standards of medical practice.

Medicare-approved amount

—In Original Medicare, this is the
amount a doctor or supplier that accepts assignment can be paid.
It may be less than the actual amount a doctor or supplier charges.
Medicare pays part of this amount and you’re responsible for the
difference.

Medicare health plan

—Generally, a plan offered by a private
company that contracts with Medicare to provide Part A and
Part B benefits to people with Medicare who enroll in the plan.
Medicare health plans include all Medicare Advantage Plans,
Medicare Cost Plans, and in some cases, plans available under
Demonstration/Pilot Projects. Programs of All-inclusive Care for
the Elderly (PACE) organizations are special types of Medicare
health plans that can be offered by public or private entities, and
that provide Part D and other benefits in addition to Part A and
Part B benefits.

Medicare plan

—Refers to any way other than Original Medicare
that you can get your Medicare health or prescription drug
coverage. This term includes all Medicare health plans and
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.

Premium

—The periodic payment to Medicare, an insurance
company, or a health care plan for health or prescription drug
coverage.

Preventive services

—Health care to prevent illness or detect
illness at an early stage, when treatment is likely to work best (for
example, preventive services include Pap tests, flu shots, and screening
mammograms).

Primary care doctor

—Your primary care doctor is the doctor you see
first for most health problems. He or she makes sure you get the care
you need to keep you healthy. He or she also may talk with other doctors
and health care providers about your care and refer you to them. In
many Medicare Advantage Plans, you must see your primary care doctor
before you see any other health care provider.

Primary care practicioner

—A doctor who has a primary specialty
in family medicine, internal medicine, geriatric medicine, or pediatric
medicine; or a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or physician
assistant.

Quality Improvement Organization (QIO)

—A group of practicing
doctors and other health care experts paid by the federal government to
check and improve the care given to people with Medicare.

Referral

—A written order from your primary care doctor for you
to see a specialist or to get certain medical services. In many Health
Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), you need to get a referral before
you can get medical care from anyone except your primary care doctor.
If you don’t get a referral first, the plan may not pay for the services.

Service area

—A geographic area where a health insurance plan accepts
members if it limits membership based on where people live. For plans
that limit which doctors and hospitals you may use, it’s also generally the
area where you can get routine (non-emergency) services. The plan may
disenroll you if you move out of the plan’s service area.

Skilled nursing facility (SNF) care

—Skilled nursing care and
rehabilitation services provided on a daily basis, in a skilled nursing
facility. Examples of skilled nursing facility care include physical therapy
or intravenous injections that can only be given by a registered nurse or
doctor.

TTY

—A teletypewriter (TTY) is a communication device used by people
who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have a severe speech impairment.
People who don’t have a TTY can communicate with a TTY user
through a message relay center (MRC). An MRC has TTY operators
available to send and interpret TTY messages.

Part A and Part B costs

The law requires Medicare to send the information in this
handbook to all people with Medicare 15 days before the start of
the fall Open Enrollment Period. The 2013 premium and deductible
amounts for Part A and Part B weren’t available to include at
the time of printing. To get the most up-to-date information on
these costs, visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Part C and Part D (Medicare health and
prescription drug plans) costs for covered
services and supplies

Cost information for the Medicare plans in your area is available
at www.medicare.gov. You can also contact the plan, or call
1-800-MEDICARE. You can also call your State Health Insurance
Assistance Program (SHIP). See pages 129–132 for the phone
number.

Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO or PPO) must cover all
Part A and Part B-covered services and supplies. Check your plan’s
materials for actual amounts.

Medicare cares about what you think. If you have
general comments about this handbook, email us at
[email protected] We can’t respond to every
comment, but we’ll consider your feedback when writing
future versions.

 

 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850

Official Business
Penalty for Private Use, $300

CMS Product No. 10050
September 2012

¦¦Available in Spanish, Braille, Audio CD, Large Print (English
and Spanish). Also available as a podcast and e-book.
Visit www.medicare.gov/publications for more information.
¦¦New address? Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.
TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.
¿Necesita usted una copia de este manual en Español?
Llame al 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Los usuarios de TTY deberán llamar al 1-877-486-2048.

If you need help in a language other than English or Spanish,
call 1-800-MEDICARE and say “Agent.” Then tell the
customer service representative the language you need.

National Medicare Handbook

www.medicare.gov

1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

TTY 1-877-486-2048

Meaning of the letters after a Social Security or Medicare number

What do the letters after a Social Security or Medicare number mean?

The Social Security number followed by one of these codes is often referred to as a claim number.  We assign these codes once you apply for benefits.  These letter codes may appear on correspondence you receive from Social Security or on your Medicare card.  They will never appear on a Social Security card.

For example, if the wage earner applying for benefits and your number is 123-45-6789, then your claim number is 123-45-6789A. This number will also be used as your Medicare claim number, once you are eligible for Medicare.

Code

Identification

A
Primary claimant (wage earner)
B Aged wife, age 62 or over
B1 Aged husband, age 62 or over
B2 Young wife, with a child in her care
B3 Aged wife, age 62 or over, second claimant
B5 Young wife, with a child in her care, second claimant
B6 Divorced wife, age 62 or over
BY Young husband, with a child in his care
C1-C9 Child – Includes minor, student or disabled child
D Aged Widow, age 60 or over
D1 Aged widower, age 60 or over
D2 Aged widow (2nd claimant)
D3
Aged widower (2nd claimant)
D6 Surviving Divorced Wife,  age 60 or over
E Widowed Mother
E1 Surviving Divorced Mother
E4 Widowed Father
E5 Surviving Divorced Father
F1 Parent (Father)
F2 Parent (Mother)
F3 Stepfather
F4 Stepmother
F5 Adopting Father
F6 Adopting Mother
HA Disabled claimant (wage earner)
HB Aged wife of disabled claimant, age 62 or over
M Uninsured – Premium Health Insurance Benefits (Part A)
M1 Uninsured – Qualified for but refused Health Insurance Benefits (Part A)
T Uninsured – Entitled to HIB (Part A) under deemed or renal provisions; or Fully insured who have elected entitlement only to HIB
TA Medicare Qualified Government Employment (MQGE)
TB MQGE aged spouse
W Disabled Widow
W1 Disabled Widower
W6 Disabled Surviving Divorced Wife

NOTE: This list is not complete, but shows the most common beneficiary codes.