Where can I get more help?
The Medicare drug benefit can be complex and confusing, and it’s even more so for those with special needs like people with cancer. There are many places you can go for help. Here’s a list of sources within the federal government that can answer your questions. We also give you a list of outside organizations and how to find the SHIP office in your state.
Federal government sources for help
Has a useful questions and answers section online about the prescription drug benefit and contact info for your local office on aging
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Toll-free number: 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE)
For complete, up-to-date Medicare information, including fact sheets, handouts, regional maps, and general Medicaid information
Official US government site for people with Medicare. Has complete information on the Part D prescription drug benefit and easy-to-use tools to help you figure out which plans are best for you.
State Health Departments
To find your state health department to apply for Medicaid or Extra Help in your state or county, check your local government phone listings, or:
Call the Department of Health and Human Services’ toll-free number: 1-877-696-6775; you’ll be asked to enter your area code to be connected to your state, or visit the DHHS Office of Family Assistance website below and select your state:
Social Security Administration (SSA)
Toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213
Has information on benefit eligibility and on getting Extra Help to pay for Medicare drug coverage
Toll-free number: 1-888-687-2277 (1-888-OUR-AARP)
Has free information on many topics, including Medicare prescription coverage
Sponsored by the National Council on Aging, this website helps people with Medicare and other older adults learn about and enroll in government benefits, including Medicare Part D and applying for Extra Help
Offers information and resources online to help Medicare beneficiaries get the greatest value from their Medicare benefits
Helps seniors find jobs, access benefits, improve their health, live independently, and stay active in their communities
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs
For more information, call 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE) or contact your state health insurance assistance program (SHIP). SHIP has counselors in every state and some territories who are available to provide free one-on-one help with your Medicare questions or problems. Most offices are open only during daytime business hours.
To get contact information for the SHIP in your state, go to the State Health Insurance Assistance Program website at www.shiptacenter.org or call us at 1-800-227-2345.
- Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage
- Special things people with cancer need to think about
- Who should enroll in Medicare Part D?
- Making a Part D plan decision
- Getting help to pay Medicare Part A and/or Part B premiums (the Medicare Savings Programs)
- Formularies and drug coverage
- Where can I use my Part D drug coverage to fill my prescriptions?
- How much will the Part D drug plan cost?
- Things to know once you’ve chosen a Part D drug plan
- Switching drug plans in the future
- Frequently asked questions
- Where can I get more help?
- Are you ready to get started?
Last Medical Review: January 22, 2014 Last Revised: January 23, 2014