What Are My Medicare Rights?

Every person that participates in Medicare has personal rights that are protected under the Medicare program. These rights can be roughly divided into:

  • The Right to be treated and cared for respectfully.
  • The Right to be involved in making health care decisions.
  • The Right to care and services when you need them.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a culture that reveres the elderly. While it isn't possible to change cultural attitudes it is perfectly within your Medicare rights to be treated respectfully and with dignity at all times. Medicare protects you against mistreatment and discrimination in any health care setting that is being paid for by Medicare.

You also have the right to be involved in making all of your health care decisions. Medical doctors and administrators can sometimes be in a hurry but it is part of their job to make sure that all of your questions about your treatment choices and health care are answered to your satisfaction. You have a right to have your questions answered so that you can participate in your own health care decisions.

You also have the right to get any information related to your Medicare plans and choices. You also have a right to get decisions and answers regarding payments and coverage. Your health care records are private documents and that privacy is protected. Medicare also gives you the right to review and appeal decisions about treatment and payment and you have the power to file complaints about any care or administration.

It may seem obvious but you have a right to health care. This includes the right to see doctors, specialists and go to the hospital when medically necessary. Furthermore, you have the right to emergency care when you need it.

Medicare is focused on providing the best care possible for our country's elderly. Protecting patient's rights is a big part of making sure that care continues to be provided at the highest standards. If you feel you rights have been denied in any way file a grievance with Medicare and have your voice heard so that they can seek a solution to the problem and improve the entire program.

Auntie Lou says, "You have Medicare rights and it's right to use them!"