Who to Contact: Social Security or Medicare?

February 28, 2019 • By

" "Sometimes it’s confusing to know who to contact and for what. Social Security and Medicare offer related services, so people aren’t always certain who does what. This “cheat sheet” can help.

Contact Social Security to:

  • See if you’re eligible for Medicare;
  • Create a my Social Security account to do things like request a replacement Medicare card and report a change of address, name, or phone number;
  • Sign up for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance);
  • Apply for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) costs;
  • Report a death; and
  • Appeal an Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) decision (for people who pay a higher Part B and/or Part D premium if their income is over a certain amount).

Find information on how to do all of this and more on Social Security’s Medicare website.

Contact Medicare to:

  • See what services Medicare covers;
  • Get detailed information about Medicare health and prescription drug plans in your area, including costs and services;
  • Choose and enroll in a Medicare health or prescription drug plan that meets your needs;
  • Find a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy in your area;
  • Find doctors, health care providers, and suppliers who participate in Medicare;
  • Get information and forms for filing a Medicare appeal or for letting someone speak with Medicare on your behalf;
  • Compare the quality of care provided by plans, nursing homes, hospitals, home health agencies, and dialysis facilities; and
  • View Medicare publications.

Visit the Medicare website for more information on these services.

If you need to find out your claim status, find out deductibles, or get answers to premium payment questions, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY: 1-877-486-2048).

Determining who to contact is the first step in getting the answers you need. Please share these lists with family and friends who need to know more about Social Security and Medicare.

See Comments

About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


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  1. Suzanne G Delema

    I started Medicare payments when I turned 65. When my social security began, at age 66, they deducted all of the payments I had already made to Medicare from my first social security check. Will I receive this money back from medicare or social security?

    • Vonda

      Hi Suzanne, thank you for using our blog. If there is a Medicare premium overpayment, Social Security will automatically refund the premium overpayment. You will get a refund check separate from your regular monthly Social Security benefit. We hope this helps!

  2. Bill Litchfield

    Since SSA Offices are closed for one-on-one, please direct to the appropriate form for an appeal to IRMAA determination. All fields lead to disability, not basic coverage. Is this available in PDF form to prepare for appeal process? Thank you!

  3. clavit

    Thanks for sharing all of your experience

  4. Dale T Knight

    Medicare personnel are not helpful. Four times to write a letter explaining discrepancies and no response indicating they received the letter. They say the amount owed to the is 6k plus. The as benefits recieved are suppose to pay the medicare benefits. They dont communicate between each which is a huge problem.

  5. Scott J Williams

    I never enrolled in medicare, how did I get signed up. I have health care, and now I find that I have those monies deducted from by SS benefits. Seems like a racket to me! I want it stopped now. Do I have to get an attorney? People need to learn about this, and I am just the one to make it happen.

    • Vonda

      Hi Scott, thanks for using or blog. Generally, individuals receiving Social Security benefits are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Terminating Medicare is your choice; however, because you can only sign up for Medicare Part B during designated enrollment periods, if you choose not to terminate Medicare Part B and later change your mind, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B coverage.

      Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to terminate Medicare Part B.

  6. Maria O’Brien

    I have retired from a job that had health benefits covering my spouse and disabled adult son. I have applied for my Med B. My son receives SSI ~ is he eligible to apply for A & B?

    • Vonda

      Hi Maria, thank you for using our blog to ask your question. If your son is receiving disabled adult child benefits on a parent’s record, your son will qualify for Medicare after getting Social Security disability benefits for at least two years. There are two exceptions to this rule. Your disabled adult child can get Medicare immediately if he has End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring a kidney transplant or maintenance dialysis) or Lou Gehrig’s disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Check out our publication “Benefits for Children with Disabilities” for additional information. We hope this helps!


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