Medicare cards should arrive in the mail within 30 days after individuals complete the Medicare Part A or B application during the Initial Enrollment Period. The Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before individuals turn 65 and lasts for seven months.
Certain individuals do not need to apply for Medicare to receive their Medicare cards. Medicare cards should arrive for individuals that already receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits three months prior to turning 65. Medicare cards should also automatically arrive for individuals who already receive Social Security and Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits. Individuals should receive a Medicare card 25 months after receiving disability.