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Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides support for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
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At our National Cancer Information Center trained Cancer Information Specialists can answer questions 24 hours a day, every day of the year to empower you with accurate, up-to-date information to help you make educated health decisions. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with valuable services and resources.
Or ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Medicare is a government-funded health insurance program. It covers people age 65 or older, some younger people (including children) with disabilities and those who have been getting Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) for 2 years. People who have Medicare are called Medicare beneficiaries.
Medicare parts cover different services:
Before you schedule any appointments or tests, be sure that the doctor accepts Medicare, and find out if they “accept assignment.” A doctor who accepts assignment is called a participating doctor, and will:
Non-participating doctors don’t routinely take assignment. If your doctor doesn’t accept assignment for all Medicare-covered services, you often have to pay out of pocket, and you can be charged more than Medicare covers. Medicare will pay you back part of the bill for the services they cover.
Opt-out doctors have opted out of Medicare and will ask you to sign a private contract explaining that Medicare won’t pay anything to you or the doctor. You’re responsible for all charges if you see these doctors.
For more detailed information on Medicare eligibility, costs, and coverage, contact the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit their website at www.medicare.gov.
Some people covered by Medicare may also have other health insurance. These might include coverage through an employer (own or spouse’s), other federal programs, or because of an injury. People may also be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. In these situations, there may be questions about coordination of benefits (which insurance pays first and for which part of the bill). Each situation is different, so for questions check www.medicare.gov.
You might be able to get help with the costs of your Medicare coverage through Medicare savings programs.
Some states have programs that can help you pay for Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. These programs help people with Medicare who have low incomes and limited resources. The names of the programs and how they work vary from state to state. To find out more about these programs and to see if you qualify, visit Medicare Savings Programs .
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
The Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare
Toll-free number: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
This is a federal government website managed by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It provides information about what Medicare covers, drug coverage (Part D), how to find a doctor or facility, and additional resources.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). What's Medicare? Accessed at https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/your-medicare-coverage-choices/whats-medicare on April 19, 2019.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Medicare savings programs. Accessed at https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/get-help-paying-costs/medicare-savings-programs on April 19, 2019.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Find Medicare physicians and other clinicians. Accessed at https://www.medicare.gov/physiciancompare/ on April 19, 2019.
Last Revised: May 13, 2019
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