Enrolling in Medicare: Eligibility & Signing Up

When am I eligible to enroll in Medicare?

You are to enroll in Medicare in the Initial Enrollment Period. You are eligible 3 months before, on the month of, and up to 3 months after your 65th birthday.

If you have not enrolled into Medicare when you were first eligible, you may have to pay a penalty when you join unless you were working and decided to delay your Part B enrollment until you retire (which is advised).

Step-by-step instructions on how to enroll in Medicare:

You can enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B in the following ways:

  • You can apply online at www.SocialSecurity.gov.
  • By phone - Call at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call TTY 1-800-325-0778.

  • In person by visiting your local Social Security office. You need to call first to make an appointment.

If you do not live in the U.S. or one of its territories you can contact the nearest U.S. Social Security office, U.S. Embassy or consulate to enroll in Medicare.

If you worked at a railroad, contact the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) at 1-877-772-5772 (TTY users 1-312-751-4701) Monday through Friday, 9AM to 3:30PM to know more information on how to enroll in Medicare.

How much does Medicare cost?
You don't have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working for at least 10 years, or 40 quarters. This is called "premium-free Part A."

You can get premium-free Part A when you reach 65 if: You already get retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board; are eligible for Social Security or Railroad benefits but haven't filed for them yet; or you or your spouse had government employment covered by Medicare.

If you haven’t reached 65 yet, you can get premium-free Part A if you have been getting disability benefits for 24 months from the Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board; have the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and meet certain requirements.

The cost for Medicare Part B on the other hand varies depending on the year you enroll your level of income.

Your Part B premium will be deducted automatically from your Social Security benefit payment if you get benefits from one of these:

  • Social Security

  • Railroad Retirement Board
  • Office of Personnel Management

If you don’t get these benefit payments, you have to pay for it.

Applying for Medicare Supplement Insurance
Medicare Supplement Insurance will cover some if not all of the expenses not fully paid by Medicare. You should consider purchasing one in order to fill in these gaps. You will not have to rely on your savings and cash in order to pay for any additional expenses that you might incur medically since it Medigap will cover it.

If you would like to compare plans, companies and prices that will supplement your needs money-wise, feel free to do it on our website or you can call our toll-free hotline (855) 230-0801 to talk to one of our Expert Medicare Advisors who will assist you in comparing plans and walk you through the process of signing up for one.


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