How Can You Apply for Medicare?

March 04, 2024

The process for applying for Medicare depends on a few factors, including your age and current situation. Here's a breakdown of the different scenarios:

If you are turning 65:

  • Most people automatically get Part A: If you have received Social Security benefits for at least 40 quarters (10 years), you'll automatically be enrolled in Part A (hospital insurance) when you turn 65. You won't need to take any action.
  • Part B requires enrollment: You'll need to actively choose to enroll in Part B (medical insurance) during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This is a 7-month window that starts 3 months before you turn 65, includes your birth month, and ends 3 months after your birth month.

Applying for Medicare:

There are several ways to apply for Part B, depending on your preference:

  • Online: The easiest and fastest way is through your secure my Social Security account https://www.ssa.gov/medicare/sign-up
  • Phone: Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users: 1-800-325-0778).
  • Local office: Visit your local Social Security office.
  • Railroad Retirement Board: If you or your spouse worked for a railroad, contact the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772.

Other situations:

  • Early eligibility: You may be eligible for Medicare earlier than 65 if you have a disability, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). The application process might differ slightly in these cases.
  • Already receiving benefits: If you're already receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits at the time you turn 65, you'll be automatically enrolled in both Part A and Part B.

Additional Resources:

I hope this explanation helps!