Online Guide to Medicare
Medicare.gov is the official .gov web site for the U.S. government’s Medicare program. The web site is also related to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) (www.cms.gov) which administers the Medicare program. Medicare.gov provides official benefit information regarding the various programs that constitute Medicare as well as tools to help Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare.gov tools cover issues such as nursing home comparisons as well as evaluation and enrollment in Part C health plans and Part D prescription drug plans. Medicare.gov is targeted both to people who get Medicare benefits as well as family and friends caring for individuals who get Medicare benefits.
Given its vast information, Medicare.gov organizes itself around several top-level categories. These Medicare.gov categories include:
- Medicare Basics – Get explanations of the major parts of the Medicare program, insurance issues, eligibility, and how to get Medicare
- Managing your health – Get information on preventative services and personal health records
- Resource locator – Get tools for evaluating Medicare Advantage health plans and prescription drug plans, nursing homes, doctors, and hospitals
- Help & Support – Get FAQ’s, glossary, Medicare.gov index, caregiver resources, and useful phone numbers and .gov web sites (e.g. www.hhs.gov, www.va.gov, www.hud.gov, and www.usa.gov) and other web sites
Along with the aforementioned categories, Medicare.gov lets you search Medicare.gov web pages for content containing the words you specify. This .gov web site also supplies forms used by applicants wishing to get Medicare, and a dedicated guide for several topics including guides for Medicare and You, Medigap and Special Needs Plans.
As Americans approach their 65th birthdays, they are often aware that they need to get Medicare. The Medicare.gov web site provides information on how to get Medicare. Additionally, Medicare.gov posts an online application form (http://www.medicare.gov/MedicareOnlineForms/) that enables visitors to apply to get Medicare enrollment. Medicare.gov also contains a link to their annual handbook with info on how to get Medicare.
The large volume of content on Medicare.gov can present challenges when searching for the correct web page you need (e.g. “How do I get Medicare?). Medicare.gov allows you to search for any pages related to the word or phrase in which you’re interested. To search Medicare.gov, you can enter your search topic into the box next to the Search button at the top of the page. After entering the search topic, click the Search button to search Medicare.gov and the web site will get a list of Medicare.gov pages related to that topic.
If you do not want to search Medicare.gov using the search tool, you may find answers to your questions by reading the Frequently Asked Questions (http://questions.medicare.gov/app/home) page. This FAQ page contains common questions for visitors to Medicare.gov and their corresponding answers. A link to this page can also be found on the bottom of the home page of Medicare.gov. If these options fail to provide the information you need, Medicare.gov contains a Help page (https://www.mymedicare.gov/help/mymedicare.govhelp.aspx) providing additional assistance beyond the search tool and the FAQs. You can also search the index page (http://www.medicare.gov/navigation/help-and-support/a-z-index.aspx) that lists the major topics found on Medicare.gov.
Additional information on Medicare.gov can be found in the Medicare.gov brochure (http://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/10116.pdf)