Where to Get Help in Making a Medicare Appeal - dummies

Where to Get Help in Making a Medicare Appeal

By Patricia Barry

Copyright © 2015 AARP

Anyone can help you file a Medicare appeal — a relative, friend, doctor, consumer advocate, lawyer, or whoever. If you want any of these people to represent you — that is, prepare and present arguments — that person must fill out a form as instructed in any denial letter you receive.

If you don’t happen to have any Medicare lawyers in the family tree, free legal help from professionals who are experienced in Medicare appeals is available from the following sources:

  • The Medicare Rights Center (MRC): This national, not-for-profit consumer service offers free counseling and some representation with appeals. Call its hot line toll-free at 800-333-4114.

  • The Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA): A national, not-for-profit advocacy group, the CMA litigates class-action lawsuits on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries from time to time. It offers free self-help packets containing detailed guidance on some types of Medicare appeals.

  • California Health Advocates (CHA): This nonprofit consumer watchdog organization serves the needs of California’s Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. For resources to help make appeals, go to the CHA website.

  • Medicare Advocacy Project (MAP): A program run by Greater Boston Legal Services, MAP operates through legal aid offices throughout Massachusetts. MAP advocates help Medicare beneficiaries obtain the services to which they’re entitled. Call 800-323-3205.

  • State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs): All states have SHIPs that give free help and counseling to people with Medicare. If your state program doesn’t directly provide legal help with Medicare appeals, it can put you in contact with local services that can.

Other resources for finding a licensed lawyer to represent you include the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the American Bar Association‘s lawyer referral directory, and the Legal Services Corporation.