Those who turn 65 can sign up for Medicare online at the SSA.gov website, reports the Social Security Administration. Alternatively, individuals are able to sign up for Medicare by phone or by visiting the local Social Security office, advises Medicare.gov.
People first become eligible to apply for Medicare when they are 64 years and 9 months old, according to the SSA. Those already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits become enrolled in Medicare automatically, explains Medicare.gov. Those who want to delay receiving Social Security benefits should sign up for Medicare when they first become eligible to avoid paying higher premiums later, states the SSA.
To apply online, go to the main page of SSA.gov, select Benefits in the toolbar at the top of the page, click on Apply Online for Medicare Only under Apply, and click on the blue rectangle that says Apply for Medicare Only, advises the SSA. Fill in the application, make corrections as needed, and when you are finished, click on Submit Now. The SSA reviews and processes the application, requests any needed documents, and sends applicants a decision letter by mail.
Those who want to apply for Medicare in person at a local Social Security office should phone first to make an appointment, states the SSA. Those applying for Medicare overseas can contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.