Chapter 12

Getting Help in Making Medicare Choices

In This Chapter

arrow Searching out reliable personal help

arrow Arming yourself against scams and hard-sell marketing

If you’re feeling pangs of inadequacy because you just can’t face all the Medicare options on your own, banish the thought. Don’t feel bad if you’ve glanced at Chapters 10 and 11 on using the online Medicare plan finder and feel daunted. I hope that if you try using the plan finder, you’ll get the hang of it. But not everybody has a computer or reliable Internet access or feels comfortable with online searches. And you know what? That’s fine. You can find the same information by getting help from a live person.

The question is which live person? The options come down to these:

  • Asking a family member or friend to do an online search for you
  • Contacting your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
  • Calling the Medicare help line
  • Taking advice from other professional and volunteer sources

I discuss each of these options in this chapter. I also draw attention to the help that’s available to you if English isn’t your first language. I strongly advise you to use that help because understanding what you’re signing up for in Medicare and how your choices affect your benefits and costs is important.

This chapter also focuses ...

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