The Two Best Medicare-Sponsored Resources for Understanding the Program
Navigating your new or existing Medicare plan can be tricky. Luckily Medicare offers several resources to help you. Highlighted below are the two most useful ones that you can find at Medicare.gov.
Searching For a Provider
If you are new to your Medicare plan or need to find a new provider, you can search for providers that accept Medicare using their Care Compare Tool. This tool allows you to input your location and provider type that you are searching for to find a physician or other healthcare provider in your area. After inputting your location and provider you are looking for, the tool will provide you with results that show matching providers in your area, and how far you are from them. The tool also allows you to select multiple providers at once to compare services, provider types, performance information, and network or hospital affiliations. Once you’ve identified the provider you’d wish to see it’s a good idea to call the office number provided to confirm the information you’ve found online. When speaking to the office you can check with them on a few things. First you can make sure they are in the same location that’s listed online. Second you can find out if they are accepting new Medicare patients. You can also ask if you will need a referral to see them (you typically need referrals to see specialists).
Medicare & You Handbook
Medicare also offers a free handbook called “Medicare & You” that covers Medicare basics. It also goes into detail on different plan options, Medicare rules and Medicare resources for financial assistance. You can download the book online as a PDF, or have one mailed to your house. The book comes in several different languages, large print, and in braille.
For more help navigating Medicare you can check out this article on the Top 3 Ways to Find Local Help With Medicare, or visit the Medicare.gov website. You can also join Wiser Medicare’s Facebook group to join a community of Medicare members and experts that discuss common answers to Medicare questions.
If you’re looking for financial assistance to help pay some of your plans costs, Medicare has programs that assist individuals with limited income and resources. Read more about those programs here.