Medicare & You 2019: A First Look

Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) releases a handbook titled Medicare & You. The handbook, which is made available to all current and future Medicare beneficiaries, is published in the fall for the upcoming year. 

Medicare & You 2019 is available now. With this guide, you can review how to use the handbook to find the information you need, and you can even download your own copy.

Medicare and You 2019 handbook cover

Where to get Medicare & You 2019

If you are currently enrolled in Medicare, you should have received a printed copy of Medicare & You 2019 by the end of October, 2018. If you have not received your copy, please call 1-800-633-4227 to request one.

Whether or not you are enrolled in Medicare, you may view an electronic version of Medicare & You 2019 and you can download it if you wish.

What does Medicare & You 2019 cover?

Medicare & You 2019 is 120 pages long, but here is a brief summary of what you can expect to find in the guide.

  1. Information about your new Medicare card
    Medicare beneficiaries are set to receive a new Medicare card in the mail by April of 2019. Medicare & You 2019 contains information about the new card and what to do with your old Medicare card.

  2. Your Medicare options
    If you’re new to Medicare or are considering other Medicare plan options outside of Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B), the handbook includes information about Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap).

  3. Signing up for Medicare
    There are a number of key dates and enrollment periods during which you can sign up for Medicare. Medicare & You 2019 helps explain Medicare enrollment and can help guide you as you sign up.

  4. Medicare and private insurance
    There are situations in which Medicare can work in tandem with private insurance such as employer coverage. The handbook outlines some of the details of what you can expect, such as who is your primary payer and your secondary payer.

  5. Medicare costs
    Although Medicare is government-funded, there are plenty of Medicare out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries to know about.  

  6. What Medicare covers
    Medicare covers a wide range of services and items, and the Medicare & You guidebook discusses many of these in detail.

  7. Financial assistance for Medicare
    Medicare & You 2019 includes information about Medicare Savings Programs and other resources for beneficiaries who need some financial assistance to help cover some of their Medicare costs.

  8. Medicare rights and fraud prevention
    The handbook discusses your rights as a Medicare beneficiary and includes information about Medicare fraud and identity theft.

  9. Additional Medicare resources
    Medicare & You 2019 includes a number of resources available to beneficiaries seeking answers to common Medicare questions, including the contact information for all State Health Insurance Information Programs (SHIPs). Your local SHIP can provide free and confidential counseling to help you understand your Medicare coverage.

  10. Definitions
    There are many Medicare terms to understand, and the guidebook includes a glossary of definitions for your reference.

The better you understand Medicare, the more effectively you may be able to use your benefits. Use Medicare & You 2019 to learn the ins and outs of the Medicare program or call 1-800-MEDICARE with any questions.

What if I have additional Medicare questions?

If you have questions about the Medicare coverage options available where you live, such as Medicare Advantage plans, you can get the answers you need by speaking with a licensed insurance agent.

Call TTY Users: 711 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get started with a licensed agent.

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Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.