Some people get Part A and Part B automatically

If you’re already getting benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you’ll automatically get Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65. (If your birthday is on the first day of the month, Part A and Part B will start the first day of the prior month.)

If you’re under 65 and have a disability, you’ll automatically get Part A and Part B after you get disability benefits from Social Security or certain disability benefits from the RRB for 24 months.

If you live in Puerto Rico, you don’t automatically get Part B. You must sign up for it.

If you have ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease), you’ll get Part A and Part B automatically the month your Social Security disability benefits begin.

If you’re automatically enrolled, you’ll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail 3 months before your 65th birthday or 25th month of disability benefits. If you do nothing, you’ll keep Part B and will have to pay Part B premiums. You can choose not to keep Part B, but if you decide you want Part B later, you may have to wait to enroll and pay a penalty for as long as you have Part B.

Note: If you don’t get your card in the mail, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and let them know. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778. If you get RRB benefits, call 1-877-772-5772. TTY users can call 1-312-751-4701.

 

Group Of Senior Retirement Exercising Togetherness Concept

Signing up for Medicare

 

Some people have to sign up for Part A and/or Part B

If you’re close to 65, but not getting Social Security or  Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits, you’ll need to sign up for Medicare.  Contact Social Security 3 months before you turn 65. You can also apply for Part A and Part B at socialsecurity.gov/retirement. If you worked for a railroad, contact the RRB. In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you may have a delay in getting Medicare coverage in the future, and you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B.

If you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and you want Medicare, 
you’ll need to sign up. Contact Social Security to find out when and how to sign up for Part A and Part B. For more information, visit Medicare.gov/ publications to view the booklet “Medicare Coverage of Kidney Dialysis & Kidney Transplant Services.”

If you live in Puerto Rico and get benefits from Social Security or the RRB, you’ll automatically get Part A the first day of the month you turn 65 or after you get disability benefits for 24 months. However, if you want Part B, you’ll need to sign up for it by completing an “Application for Enrollment in Part B Form” (CMS-40B). If you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B. Visit CMS.gov/medicare/cms-forms/cmsforms/cms-forms-items/cms017339.html to get Form CMS-40B in English or Spanish. Contact your local Social Security office or RRB for more information.

 

Where can I get more information?

Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 for more information about your Medicare eligibility and to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778. If you worked for a railroad or get RRB benefits, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772. TTY users can call 1-312-751-4701.

You can also get free, personalized health insurance counseling from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

No matter how you enroll in Medicare, you’ll need to decide how to get your Medicare coverage. You can choose between Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan.