Q: Where can I obtain the actual Medicare regulations that state what is covered and what is not? I don't mean the small booklet sent to us every year. continued...
Another great resource is the nonprofit Center for Medicare Advocacy’s web site. In addition to information on a wide range of Medicare-related topics, you’ll find all the Medicare rates for 2011.
If you have traditional Medicare, you can also visit the Your Medicare Coverage page on Medicare.gov, where you can enter your Medicare ID number to call up specific information about your benefits.
Also on Medicare.gov is detailed information about how Medicare covers hospital services, including premiums, deductibles, and copayments.You can find that in the Medicare & You handbook.
You can also call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).
If you’ve signed onto a Medicare Advantage plan, the specifics of your coverage can be obtained from the insurance company through which you receive your benefits. Call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card to obtain a copy of your benefits handbook if you don’t already have one or to speak with a representative who can answer your questions.
Q: If I move to a new state, how do I switch my Medicare Advantage plan outside of the open enrollment period?
A: You can qualify, for various reasons, to make changes during what’s considered a special enrollment period for qualifying events, or major life changes. If you move to a new geographic location, that counts as a qualifying event.
Again, your SHIP is a great place to go for information about how to switch plans. And the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s web site and Medicare.gov both offer information about special enrollment periods.