When you turn 65 (or if you are disabled and have been receiving Social Security benefits for 24 months), you may be eligible to sign up for Medicare.
There are several ways to sign up for Medicare. Because Medicare is handled by the Social Security Administration, you can apply it in several ways:
- Call the Social Security Administration’s National 800 Number toll-free at 1-800-772-1213
- Call your local Social Security office
- Apply online
The link below will allow you to search for contact information for your local office as well as link you to the online application that you can do yourself.
Some individuals are automatically enrolled in Medicare. You may be automatically enrolled if:
- You are already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits
- You qualify for Medicare due to a disability
- You have ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
Typically, once you submit an application for your Medicare card, you should receive it within 3 weeks. However, given the incredibly large number of people aging into Medicare (it’s estimated at 10,000+ individuals per day), there may be times when it may take longer than 3 weeks to receive your card. It’s always a great idea to apply early, and allow ample time to get everything taken care of.
You are eligible to start receiving Medicare coverage on the 1st day of the month that you turn 65 (if your birthday is August 8th, and you apply for Medicare coverage in May, June, or July, your coverage will start August 1st). If you apply for coverage after August 1st, your coverage will be effective on the 1st of September.
Are you unsure if you need to apply for Medicare or not? Here’s a link to the Medicare.gov website that allows you examine the different options and see which scenario applies to your particular situation (things like will you continue to work past 65 or whether you are already receiving Social Security benefits, etc.). Your Medicare Situation