If you qualify for Medicare, and collect Social Security retirement or Disability benefits, then you’ll automatically be enrolled into Part A and Part B of Medicare.
If you’re under age 65 and collecting Social Security Disability or certain Disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, the rules are different.
You’ll get Part A and Part B automatically after 24 months has passed from the time you started Disability. Or, at age 65 whichever comes first. People with Lou Gehrig’s disease or End Stage renal disease don’t have to wait 24 months to qualify for Medicare.
If you’re approaching age 65, your red white and blue Medicare card will be in the mail to you about 3 months before your birthday.
Medicare starts on the 1st day of your birthday month, not on your actual birthday. But if your birthday falls on the 1st of the month then your Medicare will start one month prior.
One thing to remember is that Social Security benefits and Medicare are separate decisions. You can sign up for Social Security either before or after your Medicare eligibility at 65.
Some people will choose to delay claiming their Social Security benefits to get larger payments later.
What To Do If You’re Not Collecting Social Security
If you’re not receiving Social Security benefits yet, then you WILL need to sign up for Medicare. You won’t get Medicare automatically.
Social Security handles all the sign ups for Medicare. You can sign up a few different ways.
- The quickest and easiest way is to go online to the social security website www.SSA.gov and register for a My Social Security account (if you don’t already have one) and sign up for Medicare on the site.
- The second way is to call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and set up an appointment to submit your application over the phone. Sometimes they schedule appointments a month or so out, so make sure you have enough time so you don’t miss your first month of Medicare eligibility.
- Another way to sign up is to apply in person at a local Social security office. It’s best to call first to make sure they’re open. You can also print an application and mail it in.
People in certain situations may choose to delay signing up for Medicare. If you’re actively working you have the right to remain on the employer health insurance. Your Medicare will coordinate with that coverage.
How much Medicare will pay, depends on the size of your employer and whether Medicare pays primary or secondary to your employer coverage.
You’ll want to compare the costs of your employer coverage to that of Medicare. And if you have a spouse on the insurance as well, then that’s something else you need to take into consideration.
Sometimes Medicare plus a Supplement makes more sense, but not always. We can help you decide what’s best for your situation.
If you need help figuring out when you should enroll in Medicare then give us a call at (800) 783-5901. Our Service is 100% FREE and we’re happy to help you.