There is a lot of information flying around about Original Medicare in today’s world. Between the phone calls, piles of mail, and everybody telling you “They know a person,” it can be overwhelming. Many people become so overwhelmed they make a poor decision, which can mess up their Medicare for life, or worse, they do nothing! It is important, that as an Original Medicare Beneficiary, you understand and know what rights and protections are out there for you. Everybody with Original Medicare has these rights and protections, no matter if you are new to Medicare or have been on Medicare for years.
Here are the following rights and protections every Original Medicare Beneficiary has access to:
- Be treated with courtesy, dignity, and respect at all times.
- Be protected from discrimination.
- Have your personal and health information kept private.
- Get information in a way you understand from Medicare, health care providers, and, under certain circumstances, contractors.
- Learn about your treatment choices in clear language you can understand and participate in treatment decisions.
- Get Medicare information and health care services in a language you understand.
- Get your Medicare information in an accessible format, like braille or large print. See “CMS Accessible Communications” on page 123. Note: If you need plan information in a language other than English or in an accessible format, contact your plan.
- Get answers to your Medicare questions.
- Have access to doctors, specialists, and hospitals for medically necessary services.
- Get Medicare-covered services in an emergency.
- Get a decision about health care payment, coverage of items and services, or drug coverage. When you or your provider files a claim, you’ll get a notice letting you know what will and won’t be covered. This notice comes from one of these:
- Your Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) or other Medicare health plan
- Your Medicare drug plan If you disagree with the decision
If you disagree with the decision that Medicare comes to, you always have the right to file an appeal. The appeals can relate to decisions of health care payments, coverage of items and services, or drug coverage. You can also file complaints about the quality of care you received when you are on Original Medicare from a Medicare provider.
If you have questions regarding your rights or protections while on Original Medicare you can always call 1-800-MEDICARE or speak to a license insurance professional about what is available to you and how to access the appeals process.