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Medicare Minute

Armen Hareyan's picture

When calling 1-800-Medicare, beneficiaries should be prepared to answer a few important questions about their prescription drug needs. CMS call centers use this information to sort through all of the medicines, drug discount cards, and pharmacies to give beneficiaries the specific, individual facts they need to decide about the drug card program. This includes:

  • Their zip code.

  • Their medicines and doses. It's best to have pill bottles in front of them.

  • Preference for a pharmacy, if they have one (otherwise they will get information on the closest pharmacies as well as mail-order options).

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  • Whether they are especially interested in low-cost or no-cost cards (the maximum card fee is $30 per year, but many cards have lower or zero fees).

  • Any specific Medicare-approved cards that they have heard about and want to find out more about.

  • Their total monthly income, if they have limited means and are interested in the $600 credit for drug costs and other programs to help them get much larger savings.

The best times to call 1-800-MEDICARE is later in the week