Individuals can register for Medicare online on the Social Security website, by phone or at a local Social Security office, states Medicare.gov. Registration is required for individuals who are not receiving Social Security, have end-stage renal disease or live in Puerto Rico and want Part B coverage.
When registering for Medicare, individuals should begin the process three months before they turn 65 to ensure coverage begins as soon as they are eligible at 65 years of age, advises the Social Security Administration. Individuals who apply later may be charged higher premiums.
All individuals get Medicare Part A or hospital insurance. They can choose to opt out of Medicare Part B or medical insurance. The premium for Part B is $104.90 per month, as of 2015, notes the Social Security Administration. Individuals also pay deductibles and coinsurance in addition to the Part B premium. Alternatively, individuals can opt for Medicare Part C which includes both Part A and Part B insurance provided by a private insurance company. There is an additional premium for Part C.
Many individuals are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and B and do not need to register, including individuals with Lou Gehrig's disease, says Medicare.gov. People who currently receive Social Security or railroad retirement benefits are automatically enrolled in Medicare when they turn 65 and do not need to register. Finally, individuals who receive Social Security disability benefits are enrolled in Medicare after 24 months.