Some people are automatically enrolled in Medicare. Those who are will receive their Medicare identification card in the mail approximately three months prior to their 65th birthday. There are, however, some individuals who may need to apply for Medicare Parts A and B.
You will need to apply for Medicare Part A and Part B if you are not currently receiving either Social Security or Railroad Retirement Benefits (for example, because you are still working), or because you qualify for Medicare as you have End Stage Renal Disease.
You may also need to apply for Medicare Part B (you automatically get Part A) if you live in Puerto Rico. In this case, you must already have Medicare Part A in order to apply for Medicare Part B coverage.
Where to Apply for Medicare Benefits
If you need to apply for Medicare benefits, there are several ways to do so. One way is to visit your local Social Security office and apply in person. If you call ahead and make an appointment, you won’t need to wait in line.
You can also apply for your Medicare benefits over the phone by calling Social Security’s main toll-free phone number and scheduling an appointment for a telephone interview. This number is (800) 772-1213.
Applying for Medicare Online
You can also apply for Medicare coverage via the Internet. This option makes it easy and convenient to sign up for your benefits. Doing so requires using Medicare’s online application form. This form can be found by visiting: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/medicare/apply.html
Once this form is completed and submitted, there is typically no additional documentation that is required. In most cases, Social Security will process the application, and you will be contacted directly if any additional information is needed. If not, you will receive your Medicare identification card in the mail.
While your Medicare application is being processed, you will have the ability to check on its status. All you need to do is enter your Social Security number, along with a confirmation number that you will be provided with upon completing your application. You can check the status of your Medicare benefits application by going here: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/IAPS/applicationStatus
Considerations Before Applying
Prior to completing your application for Medicare benefits, there are several things that you should consider. First, you should ensure that you meet the necessary requirements to apply. This includes meeting the age 65 requirement (unless you have a qualifying disability).
You will also be asked for information regarding your date and place of birth, as well as your current health insurance status, so you will need to ensure that you have information about your current coverage on hand.
Other information that will be required from you includes your Social Security number, your marital status, legal residency (and immigration information, if applicable), as well as employment information if you are still actively working at the time of your Medicare application.