Medicare Webography

 

Medicare 
This is the official government site for consumers like you. It provides general information about the Medicare plan and services. There are also step-by-step guides to Medicare health plans, a telephone directory, and Medicare patients’ rights. There are links to publications, managed care, and fraud and abuse. This site changes frequently and has everything you need to know about Medicare — and the new drug benefit too!

Social Security Administration 
This is the official website of the Social Security Administration and is updated daily. The benefits section links to publications, information in Spanish, disability information, how to reach Social Security, and how to apply for services and forms. The online direct services include a form to request a personal earnings and benefit estimate statement and finding a local office.

United States Department of Health and Human Services 
Medicare and Medicaid information is broken down into consumer information, professional/technical information, and international relations contact information. Finding local information is done by locating the state on a map. The state page also links to specific Medicaid information and contacts. The overview explains who qualifies and what the benefits are. There are links to extensive summaries of Medicare and Medicaid. Find out if you are eligible for any assistance in your state!

Advocacy 

Administration on Aging 
Key features of this website include a spotlight on current events and a quick index of links to topics of interest to the elderly and their families. Examples include health care antifraud initiatives, welfare reform implementation, statistics about older people, international activities, and an eldercare locator. A link to Disaster Recovery/Financial Assistance for Older Disaster Applicants is offered in English and in Spanish.

Alliance for Retired Americans 
"A national organization that works to create an America that protects the health and economic security of seniors, rewards work, strengthens families, and builds thriving communities. It was launched in January 2001 by a national coalition of AFL-CIO affiliated unions and community-based organizations dedicated to economic and social justice."

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) 
This is the mecca for retired folks and those who are soon to be retired (that’s you, baby boomers). All you need to know about all aspects of Medicare is here for you, and you do not need to be an AARP member. A few things are a little out of date, but it is very easy to read and understand.

Center for Medicare Advocacy  
The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc., founded in 1986, is a national nonpartisan education and advocacy organization that identifies and promotes policy and advocacy solutions to ensure that elders and people with disabilities have access to Medicare and quality health care. Staffed by attorneys, paralegals, nurses, and information management experts, the Center for Medicare Advocacy represents thousands of individuals in appeals of Medicare denials. The work of the center also includes responding to more than 6,000 calls annually from elders, people with disabilities, and their families and support networks. This is a great website with lots of consumer information about Medicare.

Families USA 
Families USA is a “national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Working at the national, state, and community levels, we have earned a national reputation as an effective voice for health care consumers for over 20 years.” This site gives a fresh perspective on what is going on with Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare Rights Center  
The Medicare Rights Center (MRC) was established in 1989 to provide free counseling services to people with Medicare questions or problems. Since its founding, MRC has helped more than 1 million people with Medicare-related issues. MRC has conducted training programs and presentations for organizations as diverse as the U.S. HHS, the Administration on Aging, Ceridian Performance Partners, American Public Health Association, AARP, the Practicing Law Institute, Families USA, AFSCME, and Visiting Nurse Service. During fiscal year 2004, MRC received 76,000 hot line calls, worked on nearly 10,000 new cases, and saved clients an estimated $8.2 million in out-of-pocket health care costs. This site is chock full of interesting information and strategies for folks to deal with Medicare issues.

National Council on Aging 
The National Council on Aging, Inc., is a private, nonprofit association, headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a strong advocacy organization with a broad public policy agenda. The NCOA website provides detailed background research on current political issues, covering economic security, health care, and everything else that is new for the aging population.

National Senior Citizen Law Center 
This center deals with a number of legal issues for seniors and does not focus just on Medicare. But they do review current topics in Medicare payment and can be very informative about that. If you have a Medicare problem, they can help you fight for your claim at no cost to you.

SPRY Foundation 
The SPRY Foundation (Setting Priorities for Retirement Years) website offers access to the latest information on health and finances and the Aging Network News. In addition to a Managed Care Resource Guide and health resources for seniors, this website has an excellent series of pages for planning your retirement.

Appeal Rights Under Medicare 

Advance Beneficiary Notice 
This site includes information about the Advance Beneficiary Notice, other patient liability notices, and more about appeals rights. Find out if you are about to be charged for denied services from your provider. It pays for you to know about these forms!

Another Description of the Advance Beneficiary Notice 
More explanation about when patients may have to pay when they receive services that are later denied.

Appeal Basics 
The very basics of appeals and forms for appeals in the Medicare program. This does not provide patients with very many details about the Medicare appeal process, but it is a good start.

Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. 
This is a plain-English view of the new appeals process for Medicare from folks who are on your side. Lots of words in this description, but it gives you the full outline of what it takes to file an appeal and run with the ball.

Healthcare Excel 
This organization hears hospital appeals, and they tell you how to file a HOSPITAL appeal.

Medicare Rights Center 
Lots of folks do not know when they are supposed to appeal their case. At this site, they give you living examples of when folks have appealed and won their cases. Be a little cynical about these because these people want to take your case, but they are not for profit.

Online NewsHour 
Public Broadcasting provides a good summary of the appeals process. This is the view from 50,000 feet.

Medigap

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) 
These folks tell you everything you need to know about Medigap. And they want to sell you a policy! They also go over Medicaid as a supplemental insurance.

Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. 
Everything you need to know about supplemental insurance and more. Read this if you are about to sign up!

Center for Medicare and Medicaid 
This is the Medicare description of Medigap and how to select a plan.

Health Insurance in Depth 
Want to compare plans in depth? This site will help you do this. And it helps define every gap in Medicare. Plus, you can buy right on the site!

Insure.com 
Learn about, hunt for, and purchase Medigap in a very handy format. But don't forget to do your homework too!

Medicare Rights Center 
Even more detailed chart of Medigap plans that helps you decide on a Medigap plan that meets your needs depending on which gaps are most important to you.

MSN.com 
How to win the Medigap pricing game! Good for you if you are shopping for benefits and helps people avoid being ripped off in the Medigap pricing game.

New York State 
This is a good site for you to learn about your supplemental insurance options.

Senior Citizens.com 
This Medigap plan finder is one of many, but this is easy to use and gives you lots of books to buy too, if you want to read up on this stuff!

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage 

Find out how much Part D will cost you! Here are two sites with calculators:

Kaiser Family Foundation Medicare Drug Benefit Calculator 

House Republican Conference Medicare Prescription Drug Savings Calculator 

About.com 
Nice simple summary about this new benefit.

Access to Benefits 
Get help if you need assistance for low-income seniors. If you are not on Medicaid or any sort of assistance, find out if you qualify for something.

Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. 
As usual, they answer all of your questions about Part D, and this is one of the only places you can find out what your appeal rights are if your plan switches your drug in 2006.

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 
This is the major site for patient materials about the prescription drug plan and tells you how you can apply for help if you need it.

Medicare Rx Network 
New educational network for Part D Medicare. Get educated as we charge through this new program! Send for a free brochure to see what these guys are about.

National Insurance Markets, Inc. 
For the insurance companies, here is a little information, and they will send you a free newsletter.

SeniorNavigator from the State of Virginia 
Nice summary in plain English about Part D, even if you do not live in Virginia.

Social Security Administration 
How to get help with your prescriptions if you are on Social Security.

This content was last reviewed August 15, 2010 by Dr. Reshma L. Mahtani.
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