Who to Contact: Social Security or Medicare?

February 28, 2019 • By

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Last Updated: February 28, 2019

" "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


  1. Alejandro P.

    Unfortunately it is very difficult to believe in the system american because we are facing a system full of fraud

  2. Archia H.

    I’m getting to many emails. Please delete Please in subscribe me. Thank you.

  3. D L.

    I have a friend who needs help with his medicare signing up. Who should he call?

    • John

      Social Security.

    • Ann C.

      Hi. If your friend is already getting Social Security retirement benefits, they will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically. However, because an individual must pay a premium for Part B coverage, they have the option of turning it down. If they are not already getting retirement benefits, they should contact us about three months before their 65th birthday to sign up for Medicare. They can sign up for Medicare even if you do not plan to retire at age 65. To learn more, check out our Medicare publication. We hope this helps.

      • Kristen

        Sadly, it’s apparently not that easy to turn down Part B after being automatically signed up. I returned my Medicare card and form indicating I did not want part B 11/19 prior to my 65th birthday in Feb. Payments for Medicare B have been taken out of my SS check for 2 months with April payment pending. I have been in touch with SSA call center 3 times and my local office once with no resolution. Have now contacted my congressperson to help. Have been told this could take months to resolve (even without the current crisis). There have been mistakes made by SSA from the beginning. Meanwhile, my excellent insurance company will not pay doctor office claims as they have been told that I have Medicare. We are working with the insurance company to advise of the situation but I am not hopeful. And I am out over $300 so far – that hopefully will be refunded sometime (and interest should actually be paid to me). It’s a frustrating mess. No one should be signed up for Part B automatically if there is not a decent system in place to request no Part B.

        • Kay

          Did you resolve this? I am
          Having similar issues and need help’

  4. Sheila G.

    I have a question, I collect as a survivor benefit from Social Security I am 66 year old. I have worked for over 20 years. I do not work now. My question is can I collect the survivor benefit & also social security for myself?

  5. Allison T.

    I don’t have Medicare yet but do have Medicaid. I just applied for early retirement. Does SSA need anything else? I need to change my direct deposit though because Direct Express customer services is almost completely unavailable for my account problems. I cannot access the Direct Express website on my computer. All I can do is check the balance and activities on my cellphone. This is a serious problem because I cannot print a document I need to report my income to DHHS. WE MIGHT LOSE OUR SNAP BENEFITS. I tried to get help months ago but was told that a message would be made to an account tech. I repeated a few times and nothing has happened

    • John

      Stop into the SS Office and get a statement from them to give to DHHS.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Allison. We are sorry to hear about your situation. If you are receiving Social Security retirement or disability, you can create a personal my Social Security account to change your address online. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income, you should contact your local office immediately. We hope this is resolved soon.

  6. Wilma B.

    I already applied for my social security retirement since I was 62 years old,. My social security number-*** – ** – ***

    • John

      If you have a question, call social security.

  7. Donna C.

    I feel I have been charged too much by a doctor during my 2nd office visit for the year 2018. My deductible for this year is $183.00. I have paid out $112. for the first visit, and $175.29 for the second visit (different doctors). Making a total of $287.20 and an over charge of $104.20. Can you please tell me who I should contact to correct error?

  8. Aaron A.

    Who do I contact when my medical issues determined by the Social Security Disability Administration.
    Become a major issue and moving forward?
    56 years old partial foot amputee what’s skeletal muscle disease.
    Homeless and going to school at Stafford Career Institute

    • John

      Contact Social Security if you have a disability claim pending.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Aaron. We are sorry to hear about your condition and situation. You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps!

  9. Teresita B.

    These are questions that we make ourselves so often. Thank you for clarifying and giving such a clear answers.

    Thank you
    Teresita Bague xxxxxx7176

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for your feedback, Teresita. We value your opinion of us and look forward to many more years of serving you in the future.

  10. Kathryn D.

    Thank you very much for the information.
    Best regards,

Comments are closed.