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Summer on the Medicare Rights Helpline

At the Medicare Rights Center, we know that your healthcare needs don’t take a summer vacation, and neither do we. Over the summer, our national Consumer Helpline staff was hard at work answering thousands of questions for people with Medicare and their families. From Monday-Friday year-round, our dedicated staff and volunteers are available to assist with needs ranging from help with low-income benefit enrollments to submitting complex Medicare coverage appeals.

One of our recent callers, a diabetic who had been diagnosed with cancer, was struggling to get Medicare coverage for the additional diabetes test strips he needed to monitor his unpredictable blood sugar. Despite help from his doctor and pharmacists, the client had been waiting months for Medicare to notify him about whether or not extra strips would be covered. A Medicare Rights counselor learned that Medicare required him to submit a handwritten log documenting the frequency of testing. Just a few weeks later, the client was able to get the full supply of test strips he needed.

Another caller contacted us on behalf of her homebound mother, who had received a broken hospital bed from a Medicare supplier. The client made numerous attempts over the course of a year to get the supplier to fix the bed, only to eventually learn that they were no longer a Medicare-approved contractor. Other suppliers in the area also refused to do the repairs because they were not the original supplier. Meanwhile, the bed had collapsed multiple times while the client’s mother was using it. With the help of a Medicare Rights counselor, the client finally connected with a local supplier who was able to determine that the bed was irreparable and sent a brand new replacement.

These are just a couple of examples of the stories we hear every day on the helpline. As summer comes to a close, we are proud of the assistance we have been able to provide to our clients in the recent months to help them access the affordable health care they need.

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