5 Ways to Become an Informed Medicare Consumer - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

5 Ways to Become an Informed Medicare Consumer

Healthcare.gov Healthcare blog - Each day, you make decisions about your finances, health, privacy, and more. It's important to protect yourself and make the best choices for you, especially when it comes to your Medicare.

During National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), non-profit organizations and government agencies give people like you information on how to take advantage of your rights and make better-informed choices. At Medicare, we're here to help you become an informed Medicare consumer. Here are 5 things you can do:

  1. Know your rights. As a person with Medicare, you have certain rights and protections (PDF- 780 KB) designed to help protect you and make sure you get the health care services the law says you can get.
  2. Protect your identity. Identity theft happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Keep the following personal information safe:
    • Your name
    • Your Social Security number
    • Your Medicare number (or your membership card if you're in a Medicare Advantage or other Medicare health plan)
    • Your credit card and bank account numbers
    Get more information on how to protect yourself from identity theft.
  1. Help fight Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud diverts money from the Medicare program each year, which means higher health care costs for you. Learn how to spot and report fraud.
  1. Get involved with other seniors with the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). The SMP educates and empowers people with Medicare to take an active role in detecting and preventing health care fraud and abuse.
  2. Make informed Medicare choices. Each year during the fall Open Enrollment Period (October 15-December 7), review your plan to make sure it's going to meet your needs for the following year. If you're not satisfied with your current plan, you can switch during the Open Enrollment Period.
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