How Do You Enroll in Medicare?


Quick Answer

If you are eligible for Medicare but not enrolled in Medicare automatically, contact the Social Security Administration by phone, or visit its website to enroll. The enrollment process can take several hours. You need your demographic information, and you need to know in which parts of Medicare you wish to enroll.

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Full Answer

  1. Determine if you need to apply for Part A and Part B

    Those who are age 65 and already receiving Social Security checks are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (doctor coverage) and do not need to apply. If you are age 65 or older and not receiving Social Security checks, contact the Social Security Administration to apply for Part A and Part B. You have a seven-month period surrounding your birthday in which to enroll, and you must within this seven-month period to avoid a penalty. Those who become eligible for Medicare due to disability are enrolled automatically.

  2. Decide if you want to enroll in Medicare Part C or Part D

    The Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) is a supplement to Part A and B. Medical Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) covers prescription medications. Read through the plan descriptions to decide if these options are right for you.

  3. Complete application if enrolling in Part C or Part D

    As with Part A and Part B, those wishing to enroll in Medicare Part C must apply with the Social Security Administration within seven months of becoming eligible for Medicare to avoid penalty. Part D can be applied for, changed or dropped between October 15 and December 7 of every year.

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