Know Your Medicare Rights
As a person with Medicare, do you have any rights and protections? You certainly do!
You have rights whether you’re enrolled in Original Medicare – in which you can choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare – or Medicare Advantage, in which you get care within a network of health care providers.
Your rights guarantee that you get the health services the law says you can get, protect you against unethical practices, and ensure the privacy of your personal and medical information. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, and to be protected from discrimination.
You also have the right to get information in a way you understand from Medicare, your health care providers, and, under certain circumstances, Medicare contractors. This includes information about what Medicare covers, what it pays, how much you have to pay, and how to file a complaint or appeal.
Moreover, you’re entitled to learn about your treatment choices in clear language that you can understand, and to participate in treatment decisions.
One very important right is to get Medicare covered emergency care when and where you need it – anywhere in the United States.
If you have Medicare Advantage, your plan materials describe how to get emergency care. You don’t need permission from your primary care doctor (the doctor you see first for health problems) before you get emergency care.
If you’re admitted to the hospital, you, a family member, or your primary care doctor should contact your plan as soon as possible. You’ll have to pay your regular share of the cost, or a co-payment, for emergency care. Then your plan will pay its share.