Medicare.gov - How To Use Medicare’s Official Website

By: Meredith Miller
Published: Wednesday, January 23 2019
Last Updated: 10 months ago

Medicare has been around since 1965, so it’s safe to say that the federal healthcare program predates the internet. While the program may be historic by today’s standards, you’ll be happy to hear that it has stayed with the times. In 1998, Medicare.gov launched as the official website of Medicare, and has been growing ever since.

You may already be familiar with the ever popular Medicare.gov, but few people actually know how to take full advantage of the useful tools and resources now available at your fingertips. That’s why we decided to help you understand just how powerful the official website of Medicare is, how it works, and all the different things you can do with it, aside from enrolling in coverage.

What is Medicare.Gov?

As mentioned above, Medicare.gov is the official website of Medicare. It’s often the first stop for Americans turning 65 years old, as it has a vast library of information, including the most recent updates to the program. Aside from providing information, it’s also where you can enroll in Medicare, and even get help finding plans and healthcare providers near you.

What Can You Use It For?

The website can be used to research vital information about Medicare, finding providers that accept Medicare for medical services/procedures, what’s covered under your plan, and more importantly, the cost of services rendered. Now that you know what it’s used for, let’s take a deeper look into how to use Medicare.gov.

How To Use The Official Medicare Website

Luckily, Medicare.gov is intuitive for the most part, so regardless of how savvy you are with computers, it won’t be difficult for you to use. The first thing you want to do is find your way to the homepage, which will include useful navigation. From there, it’s a matter of selecting the service you want to explore or need. Navigation options include things like:

  • Enrolling in coverage
  • Medicare costs
  • What’s covered
  • Drug coverage
  • Supplemental plans (Medigap)
  • Claims & appeals
  • Managing health
  • Forms & resources
  • Finding medical providers

The sheer number of options may seem intimidating at first, but, if you know what you’re looking for, navigation becomes simple. For example, if you are strictly looking to file a claim or appeal, then selecting that menu option will help only bring up relevant resources. If you’re looking to just browse general information, you may be better off reading up on information with FirstQuote Medicare.

Register on MyMedicare.Gov

Registering for coverage through Medicare.gov is simple and easy. There are a number of different areas you can begin your enrollment process. For most, the process starts with the little link found in the top right corner of the homepage screen, titled MyMedicare.gov Login. Although, you can also hover your mouse of the first menu item in the navigation titled Sign Up / Change Plans, and subsequently, click the Apply For Medicare Online link.

Regardless of where you click to start your process, you’ll need to then fill out any information. If you already have a Medicare Card, then make sure to have it handy. Otherwise, you will need to start by making an account. It’s not a long process, but to speed things up, make sure to have your social security information readily available.

Find Information

If you’re not looking to register for Medicare, you also have the availability to find information on different aspects of medical care. Resources include things like tools to find physicians and doctors, locate hospitals, health and drug plans, and even hospice care. For each link that you are trying to locate, for example, if you were to click on Find a Nursing Home, you will be taken to another screen, where you can input your zip code, city/state, or just state, and you will be provided the results of the search that was populated.

You will be given the name of the agency, along with a rating of the facility for you to determine the best option. Also, you can take advantage of the Find Someone To Talk To feature on the homepage. With this link, you can choose by the state of your legal residence, and you will find a wealth of information, from the Medicare contact number to your state medical assistance office, all within the click of a mouse. The best part is that all of these resources are free to use.

Tools You Should Take Advantage Of

There are other tools that can be utilized while browsing on the website, such as physician comparison, nursing home, and health comparisons, and Medicare plan finders. These tools can be of benefit to you as you search for viable options in your health care, as well as those medical providers who accept Medicare.

Physician Comparison

With this tool, you can choose up to 3 physicians that are practicing in your area, and compare them to one another. Then, the physician compare tool can help you find a healthcare professional to meet your needs.

Nursing Home & Home Health Comparison

The Nursing home compare tool provides information down to the smallest detail about every Medicare enabled nursing home in the country.

Medicare Plan Finder

The Medicare plan finder helps to find a plan that is custom tailored for you. These are Medicare Advantage plans such as an HMO or PPO, Medicare Part D plans, private fee-for-service plans, and Special Needs plans.

Medicare Contact Information

Even with the ease of navigating the site, there can still be issues that may surface. In this case, you can log in to the Medicare website, or call the Medicare contact number, (800) 633-4227, for any questions. If you feel that you are unsuccessful in either attempt to get the answers you need, feel free to visit your local or state Medicare office.