How to Use

Determine your eligibility, make a account, sign up for Medicare Advantage or drug plans and more.
Claire Tsosie
By Claire Tsosie 
Edited by Dawnielle Robinson-Walker Reviewed by Debra Nuckols
How to Use

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MORE LIKE THISMedicareInsurance is the official website for Medicare, the U.S. government health care program for seniors and those living with certain disabilities. is especially helpful for comparing plans, finding providers, getting claims paperwork and learning about costs and policies. Here’s how you can use it.

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If you want to enroll in Original Medicare, which includes Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (doctor’s appointments and preventive care), you can’t do it through — you have to go through Social Security.

Determine Medicare eligibility

If you’re just getting started,’s eligibility calculator is a good first step. There, you can figure out whether you qualify for Medicare and when you can sign up. If your initial enrollment period — the period that starts before your 65th birthday — has already elapsed, you can also get information about the next general enrollment period.

The website’s premium calculator is another helpful tool. You can calculate the premiums you’d pay on Medicare Part B, since those can vary based on income and any late enrollment penalties. The results will also tell you if you’re eligible for premium-free Part A (most people are), or if you need to buy it.

Shopping for Medicare plans? We have you covered.

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE is an alternative to traditional Medicare offered by private health insurers. Compare options from our Medicare Advantage roundup.

Best for size of network

Best for low-cost plans

MEDICARE PART D covers outpatient prescription drugs for people on Medicare. Compare options from our Medicare Part D roundup.

Best for member satisfaction

Best for low premiums

MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT, or Medigap, is private health insurance that covers “gaps” in traditional Medicare coverage. Compare options from our Medigap roundup.

Best for Medigap plan options

Best for premium discounts

Star ratings from CMS and on a 5-★ scale.

Create a login

You’re not required to make a account to use Medicare services, but doing so has its advantages. A login allows you to review claims, order replacement Medicare cards and even pay your Part B premiums (if you're enrolled in Original Medicare), among other things.

To create a account, select “Log in” in the upper right corner of

Medicare dot gov title bar

From a mobile device, select the "Menu" button in the upper right corner of, then select "Log in."

Medicare dot gov mobile menu

Select "create an account now" and provide the following information:

  • Medicare number (this is the number on your red, white and blue government-issued Medicare card).

  • Part A coverage start date (or Part B start date, if you don't have Part A).

  • Mailing address.

  • Date of birth.

  • Email address (optional).

What happened to the account? now redirects to You can use to create a secure Medicare account, which allows you to collect more personalized information and keep track of your providers and claims.

Sign up for plans

You can compare and sign up for Medicare Advantage plans and Part D plans (which cover prescription drugs) on The website's comparison tool includes Medicare star ratings for each plan and information about costs, deductibles and limits.

Not all types of plans are listed, however. While you can view price ranges for Medigap plans — which provide supplemental coverage to Original Medicare — you can’t enroll through for those. You’ll have to contact those insurers directly.

Find Medicare providers also offers tools to search for and compare Medicare providers, including:

  • Physicians.

  • Hospitals.

  • Nursing homes.

  • Home health services.

  • Hospice agencies.

  • Inpatient rehabilitation facilities.

  • Long-term care hospitals.

  • Dialysis facilities.

  • Medical supplies and equipment.

For those with Original Medicare or Original Medicare with Medigap, this is a handy way to find care near you or size up your options. If you have Medicare Advantage, turn to your insurer for information about providers before booking any appointments; with these plans, you generally need to get care within a certain network.

Get paperwork for claims or appeals

You generally won’t have to file claims to get expenses covered with Original Medicare — providers are required to do that. And if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, in general, there’s no need to file claims; Medicare pays those private insurers directly.

But in some cases, providers might not file claims until very late. And if they file more than 12 months after services were provided, Medicare can’t pay. (You can check the status of claims by logging onto your account.) You might want to file a claim if this deadline is approaching — for example, if it’s 11 months after you received services and a claim has yet to be filed. While you can’t actually file the claim online, you can find the forms you need to print out on

The website also provides paperwork and instructions for filing appeals, which you can file when Medicare or your plan denies coverage for a certain service, item or drug and you disagree with the decision. The process for this varies based on what kind of coverage you have. If the appeal is successful, the decision will be overturned.

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