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How to Apply for Medicare

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How to Apply for Medicare

“How do I apply for Medicare?” is a frequent question here at Medicare Easy Street. There are a few different answers but it can be one of the easiest parts of the process.

In many cases applying for Medicare is AUTOMATIC

Most beneficiaries become eligible for Medicare at age 65. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits at the time you become eligible for Medicare your enrollment happens automatically.

For example, Gary decided to start receiving his Social Security benefits at age 63 and will become eligible for Medicare at age 65. Applying for Medicare requires no action on his part, and his enrollment is automatic. The Medicare card simply shows up in his mailbox about 2-3 months before his 65th birthday.

What if I’m not already receiving Social Security?

If you want to start receiving Social Security benefits at a later date then you will have to either apply for Medicare over the phone, apply for Medicare online, or apply for Medicare in person.

How do I apply for Medicare over the phone?

Applying for Medicare over the phone can be a simple process by simply calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (If you worked for a railroad, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772). Usually, you can get through to someone and complete the entire process in 10 minutes or less. If there are higher than normal call volumes, a representative can schedule a phone appointment with you and finish up at a later time.

How do I apply for Medicare online?

Applying for Medicare online is one of the easiest ways to apply. You can start the process at the Social Security website
(https://www.ssa.gov/medicare/). In most cases, the step-by-step application can be completed in about 10 minutes. One advantage of applying online is that you are unable to proceed if there is any missing information so you will know that you didn’t miss something.

How do I apply for Medicare in person?

For last minute enrollments sometimes applying in person is the easiest way to confirm your enrollment and be able to walk out with the necessary information needed to get setup with your supplemental and/or prescription drug plan. In order to apply for Medicare in person, you will first need to locate your local Social Security office by going to https://secure.ssa.gov/ and inputting your zip code. To save time you will want to call ahead to schedule an appointment.

When can I apply for Medicare?

When first becoming eligible for Medicare you will have a 7 month Initial Enrollment Period. This includes:

  • 3 months before the month you turn 65

  • The month you turn 65

  • 3 months after the month you turn 65

How do I pay for Medicare?

If you are receiving Social Security (or Railroad Retirement Board) benefits the Medicare Part B premium are automatically deducted from the benefit amount each month. If you are not already receiving Social Security Benefits you can choose to enroll in Medicare Easy Pay, an electronic funds transfer (EFT) and have the premium automatically deducted from your bank account. about the 20th of each month. Another option is to have a bill sent to you for your Medicare Part B premium, however, this option will require you to pay quarterly.

What if I plan to continue working?

As always, consult your employer to see how their coverage works with Medicare. We’ve found that, in many cases, employees of smaller companies are pleasantly surprised with increased benefits and lower costs once becoming eligible for Medicare. On the other hand, some larger corporations require employees to be enrolled or offer full benefits. In this case, it may make sense to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B altogether since most group plans already cover doctor and outpatient expenses.

At Medicare Easy Street we want to make every process as easy for you as possible. If you would like help applying for Medicare or have questions about how coverage with Medicare compares to your current insurance, give us a call at 866-572-9255 or enter your information in the contact form on the right. We can help you determine exactly which steps you need to take next.

To continue learning, go to next to How much does Medicare cost?