If You Are Under Age 65 And Disabled:
If you are under age 65 and disabled, and have been entitled to disability benefits under Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 months, you will be automatically entitled to Medicare Part A and Part B beginning the 25th month of disability benefit entitlement. You will not need to do anything to enroll in Medicare. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you about 3 months before your Medicare entitlement date. , you get your Medicare benefits the first month you get disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.) For more information about enrollment, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security web site. See also Social Security’s Medicare FAQs.
For more information, see Medicare.gov
After You Apply For Medicare
No matter how you applied, once your application is complete, the Social Security office will send you a copy of the information it has on record regarding your application. Be sure to double-check this document for any mistakes, as this is your chance to correct it.
Some time later, youll get your Medicare card via mail, so be on the lookout for envelopes from the Social Security office.
Medicare Part C And Medicare Part D Cards
Because Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage are available through private insurers, you will get a different card from the insurance company. This card will look different from the red, white, and blue Medicare card you received for your Original Medicare coverage. The card will include the name of the private insurer and possibly a logo indicating your plan type.
If your Medicare Advantage plan includes prescription drug coverage, you may have a single card for all your medical and prescription drug needs. You will only need to present your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card to your doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies therefore it is a good idea to leave your Medicare card at home or in a safe place.
If you have both Original Medicare and Medicare Part D, you will have two separate identification cards, one for each type of coverage. Contact your private insurer if you have any questions about your identification card.
Would you like to take a look at some of the Medicare plans available in your area? Just enter your zip code in the box on this page to display a list and start comparing plans.
Medicare information is everywhere. What is hard is knowing which information to trust. Because eHealths Medicare related content is compliant with CMS regulations, you can rest assured youre getting accurate information so you can make the right decisions for your coverage. Read more to learn about our Compliance Program.
Find Plans in your area instantly!
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Documents For Medicare Advantage And Medigap
Whether you sign up for Medicare Advantage or Medigap, youll need both your Medicare number and the date your Original Medicare coverage started. This information will be on your Medicare card. You can also access this information through your dashboard on the Social Security website if you created an account to enroll.
FYI: Medigap covers the gaps in Medicare such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Read my guide on the best Medicare Supplement plans.
What Are The Steps To Buying A Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
The steps to buying a Medigap policy are:
- Enroll in Medicare Part B.
- Buy the Medigap policy.
Choose carefully as you may be subjected to medical underwriting if you wish to change plans later. Medical underwriting could deny you a policy or make you pay more for a policy based on your health conditions.
*Pre-existing conditions are generally health conditions that existed before the start of a policy. They may limit coverage, be excluded from coverage, or even prevent you from being approved for a policy however, the exact definition and relevant limitations or exclusions of coverage will vary with each plan, so check a specific plans official plan documents to understand how that plan handles pre-existing conditions.
**Medicare Supplement plans that cover the Medicare Part B deductible will eventually be discontinued. If you have a Plan C or Plan F, you can keep it. But if you qualify for Medicare on January 1, 2020 or later, you wont be able to buy one of these plans. You might be able to buy a high-deductible version of Plan G in 2020, if available.
The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these eHealth Insurance Web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
New To Medicare?
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Should I Sign Up For Medical Insurance
With our online application, you can sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B . Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down.
If youre eligible at age 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn age 65, and ends three months after that birthday.
If you choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B and then decide to do so later, your coverage could be delayed and you may have to pay a higher monthly premium for as long as you have Part B. Your monthly premium will go up 10 percent for each 12-month period you were eligible for Part B, but didnt sign up for it, unless you qualify for a “” .
If you dont enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period, you have another chance each year to sign up during a general enrollment period from January 1 through March 31. Your coverage begins on July 1 of the year you enroll. Read our publication for more information.
Signing Up For Original Medicare
If you dont meet the requirements for automatic Medicare enrollment, you can apply for Medicare online, in person, or by phone.
To sign up, youll need a few important documents:
Your birth certificate, or other proof of birth
Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residence
Social Security card if youre already drawing benefits
Your current health insurance information
Employment information, if applicable
U.S. military discharge papers
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Do I Need Other Documents If Im Enrolling In A Specific Part Of Medicare
Youll need to enroll in original Medicare before you can enroll in any other Medicare parts. Other parts of Medicare include:
- Medicare Part D, which is prescription drug coverage
- Medicare supplement insurance, also called Medigap
You shouldnt need to submit any additional documentation when you enroll in these other parts.
Youll just be asked to provide your Medicare number and your Medicare Part A start date. You can find your Medicare number and Part A start date on your Medicare card.
You can get new copies of any documents you no longer have. Its a good idea to start gathering documents before you apply for Medicare.
If you need new copies of any documents, you can follow the steps below.
Dont Register For Medicare Alone
If youre uncomfortable with applying for Medicare alone, we can help! Our services are completely free for you. If you would like an agent by your side when applying, contact us. We can walk you through setting up all your coverage, including Medicare, Medigap, Part D, and more.
Plus, when you use us to apply, you get unlimited support from our Client Service Team. That means if you have any issues with claims or appeals, we can help at no additional cost. You can compare rates online or give us a call today at the number above.
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Information And Documents You Need To Enroll In Medicare
Getting ready to enroll in Medicare? You can do that online. But, first, if you don’t have one, you must establish a My Social Security account. In some cases, you may need to prove your identity, age, and citizenship. According to the Social Security website, here are the documents you may need:
- Your birth certificate or other proof of birth
- Proof of United States citizenship or legal residency, such as a passport
- Driver’s license
It would be a good idea to establish this account before you’re ready to enroll. If there are issues confirming your identity, it may take time or a visit to your local Social Security office.
Then, when it’s time to enroll, once the account is established, you may need additional information to answer the questions.
- Your Social Security card, if you are already receiving benefits
- Health insurance information about the type and dates of coverage
- Information about your employment, such as a W-2 form, if you are still working
- US military discharge papers if you served before 1968
If you sign up for Medicare online or by phone, you may need to submit additional information. Social Security will let you know if you need to do this and what that information might be.
How Do I Apply For Traditional Medicare
If youre not automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you need to sign up. You should enroll during your IEP, or a Special Enrollment Period if you qualify for one. As mentioned above, one example of a Special Enrollment Period might be if you delayed enrollment in Medicare Part A and/or Part B because you had employer coverage.
You typically sign up for Medicare through the Social Security Administration . You can go to the website at ssa.gov. Or, go in person to a Social Security office. You can reach the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 . Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM, in all U.S. time zones.
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What If I Cant Get Copies
You should submit your application even if you dont have copies of some of these documents. Social Security might be able to help you track them down.
In fact, Social Security can often request copies and verification from your states Bureau of Vital Statistics. If not, it can help you get the forms you need in order to get the documents yourself.
The way you enroll in Medicare depends on which parts of Medicare you choose. There are different methods for enrolling in original Medicare as opposed to Medicare Advantage , Medigap, and Part D plans.
Keeping Your Medicare Card Safe
Keep your Medicare card in a safe place, and dont let anyone else use it. Always have your card handy when you call Medicare with questions.
You should take your Medicare card with you when you receive any health care services or supplies. Even if you havent reached your deductible, your doctor will need your card information to submit a claim. That claim will be applied to your deductible so you can use your benefits sooner. If you receive a new Medicare card, show it to your doctors office staff so they can make a copy of the updated information.
If you misplaced or lost your card, you can get a replacement Medicare card.
To learn about Medicare plans you may be eligible for, you can:
- Contact the Medicare plan directly.
- Contact a licensed insurance agency such as Medicare Consumer Guides parent company, eHealth.
- Or enter your zip code where requested on this page to see quote.
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When To Apply For Medicare: Whats The Initial Enrollment Period
For most people, the Medicare Initial Enrollment Period is a seven-month period. It starts three months before the month you turn 65, includes your birthday month, and goes three more months after that. So if your 65th birthday is in November, your IEP runs from August through February.
Your IEP is different if youre not yet 65, but you qualify for Medicare by disability. For example, you might be automatically enrolled during your 25th month in a row of receiving Social Security disability benefits.
Learn how enrollment works if youre under 65 but eligible for Medicare through disability.
When Can You Sign Up If You Missed The Initial Enrollment Period
If you didnt sign up when you were first eligible and you dont have current healthcare coverage elsewhere , youll have to wait for the next General Enrollment Period which runs each year from January 1 through March 31.
Your coverage will then begin in July of that year, and you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty on your Medicare Part B premium for as long as you have Part B coverage. Your premium will go up by 10% for every 12-month period you werent enrolled.
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When Should You Apply For Medicare If You Have Employer Health Coverage
Most people should sign up for Medicare Part A when theyre first eligible because it rarely costs anything. But some people delay enrolling in Part B because they dont want to pay the monthly premium. The decision usually depends on the type of health coverage you already have.
You can put off enrolling in Part B at age 65 if you have group health coverage through your or your spouses job and the employer has at least 20 employees.6 Youll be able to enroll with no penalty during the Special Enrollment Period that follows the end of your employers insurance. You can also choose to enroll in Part B while still insured and pay the premium.
If your employer has fewer than 20 employees, you should apply for Part A and Part B as soon as youre eligible.7
Be sure to talk to your employers benefits administrator about how signing up for Medicare will affect your coverage or Health Savings Account .8 You cannot contribute to an HSA if you have Medicare Part A. Your administrator can help you time the beginning and end of your coverage through work and your new health insurance so theres no gap in your coverage.
When your group coverage is ending, youll need to complete documentation and submit it to your Social Security office. If you have questions, ask Social Security.
How Do You Apply By Phone
Call 772-1213 or TTY 325-0778 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday.5 Keep in mind that this process takes longer because forms have to be mailed to you, which you then complete and send back. At peak times, applying for Medicare by phone could take a month or more.
If you worked at a railroad, you can enroll in Medicare by calling the Railroad Retirement Board at 772-5772 or TTY 751-4701, 9AM 3:30PM, Monday Friday.
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When Do I Sign Up For Medicare Advantage
Before you sign up for Medicare Advantage, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplements. If you choose to sign up for Medicare Advantage, you can do so during your IEP.
If you missed your IEP, you can join during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. For those currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you also have another opportunity to make changes during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
How To Request A Medicare Replacement Card
Your Medicare card is proof that you have Medicare health coverage and, as a beneficiary, is one of the most important documents you own. When you receive treatment you may be asked by your provider to show your Medicare card as proof of insurance.
If youre new to Medicare, you may be wondering how the process of requesting a Medicare card works. Youll typically get your Medicare card when you first apply for Medicare benefits. Most people qualify for Medicare when they turn 65, while some individuals may qualify at any age through disability or certain health conditions, such as end-stage renal disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis .
Signing up for Medicare and the timing of when you apply for Medicare works differently depending on how you qualify for Medicare and, in some cases, whether youre already receiving retirement benefits when you turn 65. This can all affect when you will receive your Medicare card.
Are you new to Medicare and wondering when you can expect your Medicare card in the mail? Or do you already have Medicare and need to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged Medicare card? Just scroll down to learn when your Medicare card will be mailed to you and how to request a Medicare card replacement.
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Contact Social Security To Sign Up For Medicare
You can either:
Know when to sign up for Part BYou can only sign up for Part B at certain times. If you dont sign up for Part B when you turn 65, you might have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty. Find out when you can sign up. How much is the Part B late enrollment penalty?
Legal Residency In The United States
The legal residency requirement for Medicare is layered. Not only must you establish permanent residency in the United States, but you must also have maintained that residency for at least five years.
As a Green Card holder, timing also matters. Even if you have exceeded five years as a permanent resident, you cannot apply for Medicare unless you lived in the United States during the five consecutive years immediately before you file an application.
For example, Maria has had a U.S. Green Card for six years and she will turn 65 years old in 2018. However, she lived outside of the country for the bulk of 2017. Unfortunately, she would not be eligible to apply for Medicare in 2018. She would have to live in the United States for five more continuous years before she would qualify for coverage.
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