Find Out if You're Eligible
To sign up for Medicare, you usually need to be over the age of 65 and you need to have worked at least 10 years at a place where you paid Medicare taxes. However, there are other circumstances where an individual might qualify for Medicare coverage of some kind.
You can find out if you're eligible for Medicare with the easy-to-use calculator at Medicare.gov.
Determine if You'll Be Signed Up Automatically
If one or more of the following applies to you, you may be automatically enrolled for Medicare:
- If you already get benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
- You're under 65 and have a certain disability
- You have ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
- You live in Puerto Rico and get benefits from Social Security or the RRB
If one of more of the above are true, then you will receive your red, white and blue Medicare card in the mail 3 months before your 65th birthday or your 25th month of disability.
How Can I Sign Up for Medicare?
If you're not automatically enrolled for Medicare, there are several ways to sign up.
- Apply online at Social Security
- Visit your local Social Security Office in person
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778)
- If you worked for a railroad, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772
- Visit or page and complete our simple, online enrollment form (IHL)
When Can I Enroll?
In general, you can enroll for Medicare within the 7 month period surrounding your 65th birthday, meaning the 3 months leading up to your birthday month, your birthday month, and the following 3 months. It is important to enroll within that time period because late enrollment could lead to higher costs for the rest of your life! So, when in doubt, give us a call!