A Medicare Beneficiary is eligible to start Medicare at age 65. If you are already taking you Social Security before you 65th birthday, you don’t have to sign up for Medicare- your Medicare card will automatically be sent to you. If you are not taking your Social Security, you need to sign up if you want to start Medicare at 65.
There are 3 ways to sign up:
1. In person*: In person at your local Social Security office.
2. By phone: Call 800-772-1213 to set up an appointment to enroll by phone. Once an appointment time is set up, Social Security will call you to do the enrollment on the scheduled date.
3. Apply On-Line for Medicare Only: Visit www.ssa.gov. to apply on-line. Before you apply on line, you need to create a my Social Security account. When you sign up for my Social Security, you will get an activation code within 5 to 10 business days. You use the activation code to create a username name and password.
When can you sign up:
You have a 7 month window to sign up for Medicare when you are turning 65. The enrollment period includes the 3 months before your birth month, your birth month and the three months following your birth month. If you sign up during the three months leading up to your birth month, your Medicare coverage will begin the first of the month of your birth month. For example, if your birthday is July 14, and you submit your enrollment in April, May or June, you will start Medicare July 1. If you wait until your birth month or the 3 months following your birth month, your coverage will start the following month after you sign up. Make sure you talk to an advisor to understand how your application date can affect your start date.