How to Apply for Medicare
You can sign up for Original Medicare Part A (hospital care) and Part B (doctor visits) at any Social Security office or online. The Social Security Administration has a secure online portal where you can sign up in about 10 minutes.
If you’re receiving Social Security benefits at least four months before your 65th birthday, you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. Social Security will send you Medicare information and a Medicare card prior to your 65th birthday.
What you need to apply for Original Medicare:
• Your Social Security card (or record of your number)
• Your original birth certificate
• Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency
• A W-2 form if you’re still working
How to Sign up for Medicare Part C or Medicare Part D
Original Medicare may not cover all of your healthcare needs, including prescription drugs, dental, and vision. If you are looking for coverage in these areas, you may want to consider signing up for Part C (a Medicare Advantage plan) or Part D (a prescription drug plan).
You can add a Medicare Part C or Part D plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, or during the Annual Enrollment Period between October 15 and December 7.
Note: You must have Original Medicare Part A and Part B before signing up for Part C or D.
Note: If you do not enroll in a Part D plan and do not have creditable coverage for your drugs, you will incur a penalty for every month you were eligible and did not enroll.
Learn more about the four parts of Medicare and the benefits of each.
Medicare Savings Programs
State-sponsored Medicare Savings Programs are designed for those with limited resources or living on a fixed income. They can cover items such as plan premiums, copays, deductibles, and more. You can visit Medicare.gov to see if you’re eligible.
In addition, the federal government’s Extra Help program helps cover prescription drug costs and waives late enrollment penalties for Part D. You can visit the Social Security website or the office near you to see if you qualify.