When and How to Apply for Medicare
If you are not yet receiving Social Security benefits (or benefits from the Railroad Retirement system) you are eligible to sign up for Medicare 3 months prior to the month you turn 65, but your enrollment will not happen automatically. You must call or apply online – details below. It is to your benefit to sign up for Medicare Part A as soon as you are eligible, even if you still have coverage through a group health plan.
When & how to sign up for Part A & Part B
How to Apply for Medicare
When you receive your Medicare card after enrolling in part A, you will also get an Initial Enrollment Questionnaire (IEQ). This brief survey asks about other health insurance you currently have (such as coverage through your employer or spouse’s employer), treatments you have received under liability insurance, or workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to. You may return this paper copy of the IEQ through the mail, complete the questionnaire online at MyMedicare.gov, or call the Coordination of Benefits Contractor at 1-800-999-1118 to complete it over the phone. You may also want to complete an Authorization Form which will permit Medicare to share personal health information about you with those you specify in writing (for instance, family members). Call 1-800-MEDICARE to ask that this form be mailed to you, or fill it out online at http://www.medicare.gov/MedicareOnlineForms/ . MyMedicare.gov is a helpful and secure online service which allows you to keep track of your Medicare information and benefits; visit the site to sign up for its services after receiving your Medicare card.
Retirement Planner: Applying for Medicare Only
If you are age 65 or older and your medical insurance coverage is under a group health plan based on your, or your spouse’s, current employment, you may not need to apply for Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B) at age 65. You may qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period” (SEP) that will let you sign up for Part B during: