When to Apply for Medicare

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If you are already enrolled in Social Security, you do not need to do anything to apply for Medicare. You will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B effective the month you turn age 65.

If you are eligible for Social Security, want to apply for Social Security benefits and are age 65, you can apply for Social Security and Medicare at the same time. Apply three months before your 65th birthday by visiting your local Social Security office or calling 1-800-772-1213.

If you are close to age 65 and not getting Social Security benefits, or if you are ineligible for Social Security benefits, you must apply for Medicare. You can apply by 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. If you wait until you are 65, your Medicare Part B coverage start date will be delayed.

Important Dates

Nov. 15 – Dec. 31 – You can choose to switch your Medicare health or prescription drug coverage during this period.

Jan. 1 – if you do make a change during the period Nov. 15-Dec. 31, it will be effective Jan. 1 of the following year.

Go to the Medicare Web site to learn more about how to enroll in Medicare