Medicare Part B Enrollment

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Do You Get Social Security Benefits?

You will not need to do anything. You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B effective the month you are 65. For example, if your 65th birthday is February 20, 2001, your Medicare effective date would be February 1, 2001. (Note: if your birthday is on the 1st day of any month, Medicare Part A and Part B will be effective the 1st day of the prior month. For example, if your 65th birthday is February 1, 2001, your Medicare effective date would be January 1, 2001.) Your Medicare card will be mailed to you about 3 months before your 65th birthday. If you do not want Medicare Part B, follow the instructions that come with the card.


Do You Want to Apply for Both Social Security Retirement Benefits and Medicare?

If you are close to age 65 and not yet getting Social Security benefits or Medicare, you can apply for both at the same time. To make sure that your Medicare Part B coverage start date is not delayed, you should apply three months before the month you turn 65. This is the beginning of your 7 month Initial Enrollment Period. If you wait until you are 65, or in the last 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period, your Medicare Part B coverage start date will be delayed.

To apply, you can call or visit your local Social Security office or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. You can apply online (using the Internet) if you meet certain rules. To apply online, visit www.socialsecurity.gov. You must answer a series of questions that will tell if you can apply online. For example, you must be at least 61 years and 9 months old; plan to start receiving Social Security retirement benefits within the next 4 months; live in the United States or one of its territories/commonwealths; agree to get your Social Security benefits by direct deposit to your bank or other financial institution. You must answer some other questions as well.


Do You Not Yet Get Social Security Benefits and You Only Want to Apply for Medicare?

If you are close to age 65 and not getting Social Security benefits, you must apply for Medicare. You can apply by calling or visiting your local Social Security office, or by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. You should apply three months before the month you turn 65.

This is the beginning of your 7 month Initial Enrollment Period. If you wait until you are 65, or in the last 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period, your Medicare Part B coverage start date will be delayed. You currently cannot apply for Medicare only online (using the Internet).