Not sure which Medicare plan works for you? Use our easy tool to shop, compare, and enroll in plans from popular carriers.
Where do I apply for my Medicare benefits?
Just the essentials...
Some people may receive Medicare Part A and B automatically
However, many people need to apply for medicare
When you are first eligible, you will have a 7 month initial enrollment period to sign up for Medicare
There are certain eligibility requirements you must meet, in order to receive Medicare
You can apply online or at your local social security office
You will also need to decide what parts of Medicare you would like to enroll in as some parts require payments of monthly premiums
Many people are eligible for Medicare Part A and B automatically. If you are already receiving benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, you will most likely start receiving both Medicare A and B starting the first day of the month that you turn 65. If your birthday is on the first day of a month, you will start to receive these benefits the month before.
If you are under the age of 65 and have a disability that you receive benefits for, you are automatically eligible for Medicare Part A and B after 24 months of receiving your disability benefits.
If you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), you will automatically get Medicare Part A and Part B the month that you start to receive your disability benefits. Those with ALS do not have to wait the 24 months for coverage that others with disability benefits do.
If you are eligible for automatic enrollment in Medicare, you will receive your Medicare card with your identification number on it three months before you turn 65 or before the 25th month that you are on disability.
If you do not automatically qualify for Medicare, you will need to apply after you meet some eligibility requirements. If you do not have a disability, you will typically become eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A when you turn 65 and if you or your spouse have been working for at least ten years and earned the tax credits.
Additionally, you must either be receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the RRB or if you are eligible to receive it but haven’t filed yet. You will need to apply if you are on kidney dialysis, having a kidney transplant, or have end-stage renal disease.
If you or your spouse did not work long enough to earn the tax credits to qualify for premium-free Medicare, it is still possible to purchase Medicare part A. Although the taxes from working in your lifetime contribute towards your premium-free Medicare part A, most people have to pay some sort of monthly premium towards Medicare part B.
How and where do I sign up?
There are several ways to sign up and apply for your Medicare benefits. You can apply online at the social security website or you can go in person and apply at your local social security office. You can also call the social security office or the Railroad Retirement Board if that is where your benefits come from and they will help you with the application procedure.
When you first become eligible for Medicare based on your age, you will get a seven-month initial enrollment period which starts three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after. There is also a general enrollment period between January 1 and March 31 of each year.
If you enroll during this period, your coverage will begin on July 1. If you are eligible for free Medicare part A, you can sign up anytime during or after your initial enrollment period.
However, if you have to buy part A and B, it is necessary to enroll during a legitimate enrollment period. If you do not sign up for Medicare Part B when you are first eligible, you will be responsible for a late enrollment penalty for the remainder of the time that you have Medicare Part B. There are certain circumstances where you may be eligible for a special enrollment period.
What are the different parts of Medicare?
There are several different parts of Medicare. Medicare Part A is mostly hospital insurance, but it also covers nursing facilities and hospice care. Most people who are on disability or who are age 65 and have earned enough tax credits will receive Medicare part A premium free. However, it is possible to pay a monthly premium for it if you did not work.
Medicare Part B is typically medical insurance and covers visits to doctor’s offices, medical supplies, and other types of preventative services and outpatient care. Most people have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage Plans. These plans are offered by a private health insurance company that works together with Medicare to provide you with your A and B benefits. Most services will be covered by this plan and not by Original Medicare.
Medicare Part D is for prescription drug coverage. This is also offered by private companies that contract with and are approved by Original Medicare.
Enter your zip below and compare your state’s top private Medicare providers! Switching to a better plan from a more affordable company can save you hundreds!