MHI – Q: How do I sign up for Medicare?

Posted by MedEd at MHI
The Social Security Administration is in charge of getting people signed up for Medicare Part A and Part B.

Just so you know, Social Security does not enroll people in Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plans or Part D prescription drug plans. Enrollment in those plans is done through private companies, not the federal government. Today, we’re going to focus only on Part A and Part B.

If you are already receiving a check every month from Social Security, you won’t need to do anything to get Medicare Part A and Part B. It makes no difference whether your Social Security check is due to disability or early retirement. You will be enrolled automatically in Part A and Part B. Your Medicare card will arrive in the mail about three months before your Medicare effective date – the first day of the month you turn 65.

If you are not receiving a monthly check from Social Security, you’ll need to contact them to sign up for Medicare. Your Medicare card will NOT arrive automatically in the mail. You must reach out to Social Security; they are not going to reach out to you.

You have a choice as to how you contact Social Security. You could enroll online at Or you could call their toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. If you prefer to conduct your business face-to-face, visit your closest Social Security field office. This is by far the most time-consuming of the three methods, but if that’s what’s going to make you comfortable and you are willing to wait for an appointment, it’s an option for you.

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