How to Get Medicare Info When the Phone Lines are Busy

Alex Enabnit
Licensed Insurance Agent and Medicare Expert Writer
March 30, 2020


That’s Medicare’s official phone number. You can call with general questions or specific questions about your expenses, medical records, claims, and more.

However, when you call Medicare’s phone line you’re greeted by an automated system. It can be a while before you speak to a human—sometimes an hour or more. And with beneficiaries flooding phone lines with COVID-19 questions, wait times could be even longer.

Thankfully, there’s more than one way to get Medicare help when 1-800-MEDICARE wait times are long. These resources can give you the information you need without any annoying hold music.

On this government-run Medicare website you can access general Medicare information, download forms for appealing Medicare decisions, and see what Medicare covers with the “Is my test, item, or service covered?” tool.

For personalized information, register at You can manage your list of prescription drugs, track your claims, see your deductible status for Part B, and access information pertinent to your coverage.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the federal agency that administers Medicare. For current legislation being passed to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, see the CMS webpage on Coronavirus.

Your state insurance department’s website

If you aren’t getting the answers you need from or the federal websites, you can try your state insurance department’s website. Each state has resources to help you with Medicare. There’s also a phone number you can call for personal assistance.

Your insurer’s website

If you’re in a Medicare Advantage, Part D, or Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plan, your insurer is a great resource for answers. Typically, you can call your insurer using the phone number on your insurance card. But it may be quicker and easier to use your insurer’s website to get information.

Most insurers also have patient portals to access your personal information directly. If you’re on a Medicare Advantage plan, you might be able to use telemedicine services too.

Your agent

If you worked with an agent when signing up for a Medicare plan, they could be a good resource for any questions you may have. They can even check your current coverage and ensure that you’re in a plan that fits you well. If your current plan isn’t a good fit, an agent can switch you to a new one (as long as you are in an enrollment period or qualify for a Special Enrollment Period).

Your doctor

Chances are, your doctor’s staff is pretty busy during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they might still be able to answer your questions during business hours. But, if you’re looking for answers to insurance-related questions, it’s probably better to contact your insurer first.

Need more information? We can help.

Content on this site has not been reviewed or endorsed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the United States Government, any state Medicare agency, or any private insurance agency (collectively "Medicare System Providers"). is a DBA of Clear Link Technologies, LLC and is not affiliated with any Medicare System Providers.

Alex Enabnit
Written by
Alex Enabnit
Medicare and geriatric care expert, Alex has one motivation behind every word he writes, and that’s finding you the best medical coverage for your situation. Alex has been featured on Bloomer Boomer, Best Company,, the Daily Ledger on the One America News Network, WBAP News radio, and more. Outside of work, you can find him hiking with his wife and pup or (occasionally) going to the gym.
Related Articles
Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage Review
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) offers a large variety of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans in...
Invalid image
Aetna Medicare Advantage Review
As one of the largest healthcare providers in the country, Aetna serves an estimated 37.9...
Invalid image
Amerigroup Medicare Advantage Review
Handfuls of benefits and a variety of SNPs could assist residents of select states. Amerigroup...