The Plot “Sickens”

I repeatedly tried to contact Medicare by phone, but every time was placed on hold for over 45 minutes, to the point I just about gave up.  Between my doctor’s office and Medicare calls I had already wasted multiple hours!

So I got back to the lady at the doctor’s office and her next suggestion was to go to the website and pull up my Medicare account.  I had to enter a lot of personal, identifying information.  I did not recall ___ opening as account on that site, so I endeavored to create a new one.  Each time I did, it rejected me, indicating I already had an account.  Then, I tried to enter my existing account, using every user name and password I could think of.  No luck!  Finally, it wouldn’t even let me in to try again!

So I waited til the next day.  This time, instead of testing more user names and passwords, I straight away requested my “forgotten” user name, then my password (which I wound up “resetting”).  Apparently, I had in fact opened an account a few years before reaching Medicare qualification age (65), just to check that my Social Security earning had been reported correctly, for purposes of my Social Security retirement income (not Medicare).  I finally accessed my account, only to then realize I had to search the seemingly endless and confusing account site to find out…

Where’s My Medicare Number?

I probably searched for over an hour on that site, until I came across a tab called “Certification Letter” where, almost invisibly buried in the text of the letter, I located my Medicare number - - a different, new one not on my existing card! (Apparently the Social Security Administration had already issued and implemented my new number in their system, the one the doctor’s office checked, before they had even sent me my new card!).

So, finally, I was able to handle everything successfully with my doctor’s office, kept my appointment and (thankfully) got a “clean bill” - - of health!

Lessons from this Cautionary Tale

If you haven’t received your new Medicare card yet, I highly recommend that you go to and open an account (if you don’t already have one) or check your existing account.  Grab your new Medicare number now, so you have it until your new card arrives.  Don’t place yourself in a position where you may need immediate medical care and can’t get the cost covered by your available Medicare (and secondary insurance) - - or wind up having to pay for it yourself!

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.