Enrolling in Medicare

Medicare is designed for individuals 65 years old or older, and individuals with disabilities or on renal dialysis.  Medicare Part A covers hospital and inpatient services, while Part B covers doctor visits and other services received as an outpatient (outside of the hospital).

Many people worry about how to enroll in Medicare.  They worry that it will be difficult or confusing, but it doesn’t have to be, and it usually isn’t. 

If you are receiving Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A & B on the first day of the month that you have your 65th birthday.  In other words, if you turn 65 on February 10th you will be enrolled at the beginning of February. 

Your Medicare card will come in the mail up to three months before your 65th birthday.  If you do not receive it in a timely manner, you should call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit them on the internet at www.ssa.gov.  Either way, you will get assistance and can have the Medicare card sent to you.

If you are not receiving Social Security, you will need to sign up for Medicare.  This is an easy process and you can do this a couple of ways.  You can call Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.  They will take the information over the phone to get the process underway and then they will send you some paperwork in the mail.

If you prefer, you can go to your local Social Security office and apply in person.  The advantage to this is that there is an individual there who will walk you through the entire process.  Either way, it is your choice.  You cannot, however sign up on line for Medicare only.

To sign up for both Medicare and Social Security Retirement Benefits together you can apply online at www.ssa.gov, or by phone at 1-800-772-1213, or go in person to your local Social Security office.  Either way, you should be able to easily get enrolled for Medicare benefits without extra effort or worry.

3 Responses to Enrolling in Medicare

  • hector l. ortiz says:

    I turn65 year ondecember 20,2009. i would like to know if i can apply for medicare before december 20.

  • nancy Herman says:

    Thank you for the very clear instructions. Now I know what to do I had to Google to get here. I could not find my way from the SSA home page. That page is unclear and confusing.

  • Hungtak Lee says:

    I became, with my wife, permanent residents here in Maryland in October, 2007. I am 71 years old and my spouse 67 years old, and
    we DO NOT have yet enough credits for social security retirement
    benefit, since I have to work three more years and my wife five or six more years to secure 40 credits.
    I would greatly appreciate if your office could let me know whether I and my wife are eligible for medicare, and if so, the specific procedures thru which we can apply for the medicare
    program. If we are not eligible for the program, what other programs, either private or public, are available for us? I once applied for the Healthy Howard Program, but with little success, since, they say, I am a co-owner with my son of a townhouse where I am currently residing.
    With our best wishes for you and your staff in this beautiful autumnal season.

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