MEDICARE+CHOICE: 1-800-MEDICARE Debuts in California
HCFA's Medicare+Choice toll-free telephone information line is now available in California, amid concerns that seniors enrolling in the program will have insufficient information to choose a plan wisely. The line, 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), part of the National Medicare Education Program, will let seniors talk to customer service representatives in English and Spanish between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., the service will provide information about traditional and managed care Medicare, quality and satisfaction ratings for specific plans, general information about Medigap plans and information resources on claims, billing and other issues. The NMEP initiative also includes a Web site, www.medicare.gov and a "Medicare & You" handbook, available through the information line (HHS release, 2/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.