Questions & Answers

I’m thinking about calling the Medicare Call Center to ask a question about my options for 2016. What should I expect?  

The call center’s 3,500 phone representatives received 26 million calls last year so don’t be surprised if there’s a wait. To minimize time spent on hold, avoid calling during peak times, such as the first week of Open Enrollment, on Mondays and Tuesdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET, and the day after Thanksgiving. Call center representatives are permitted to offer information only—no advice. Reach the Medicare Call Center at (800) MEDICARE or (800) 633-4227.

Do Medicare Advantage Plans offer different preventive care services than Original Medicare?

Possibly. Whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage (private health) plan, your benefits will include coverage of a core set of preventive services. However, Medicare Advantage Plans can choose to cover additional benefits. Your costs and rules for getting the core services covered by Medicare may be different if you are in a Medicare private plan.

If I am already receiving monthly payments for a service-connected disability, can I get a VA pension, too?

You cannot receive a VA non-service-connected pension and service-connected compensation at the same time. However, if you apply for pension and are awarded payments, VA will pay you whichever benefit is the greater amount.

How much do nursing homes cost?

According to a recent survey, the average length of stay in a nursing home is two and a half years. Nursing home costs average $70,000 a year, with an average cost per stay of $170,000.

Will Medicare pay for my nursing home costs?

No. Medicare does not the pay the expenses of long-term care incurred for day care at adult centers, home care by relatives or employed caretakers, and nursing home care. Medicare pays limited benefits for skilled nursing care only.~


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