What You Need To Know About Applying for Medicare

This website contains instructions on how to enroll in Medicare online through the Social Security Administration. It’s simple and convenient; there’s no need to drive to a local Social Security office or schedule an appointment with a Social Security employee.


It only takes a few minutes. Generally, once your application has been filed online, you are finished. There are no signature forms, and, in most cases, no documentation is necessary. Social Security will evaluate your application and will notify you if additional information is required. Otherwise, your Medicare card will be mailed to you.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administer Medicare (CMS). Social Security collaborates with CMS to enroll beneficiaries in Medicare. Visit Applying for Medicare Only – Before You Decide for additional information on applying for Medicare only and deferring retirement benefits.

If you’re currently enrolled in the Medicare Part A and desire to enroll in Medicare Part B, please complete form CMS 40-B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B (Medical Insurance) and submit it in person or you can mail it to your local Social Security office.


Who is eligible to apply for Medicare online?

You may use the online Medicare application if you meet the following criteria:

  • Have a minimum age of 64 years and 9 months
  • Are you interested in enrolling in Medicare but do not already have any other type of Medicare coverage?
  • Are not interested in beginning to receive Social Security payments at this time and
  • Are not receiving Social Security retirement, disability, or survivor benefits at the time of application

When should I make a Medicare application?

You should enroll in Medicare three months before reaching the age of 65, even if you intend to work and delay obtaining retirement benefits. Otherwise, your Medicare medical insurance and prescription drug coverage may be delayed, and you may face increased premiums.

You can enroll in Medicare even if you are not yet eligible for retirement benefits. Once you’ve completed the online application, you can opt out of receiving cash retirement benefits. Then, at a later date, you can apply online for retirement benefits.


Why would you want to apply for Medicare online?

The following are some of the advantages of applying for your Medicare card online:

  • Avoid travels to the Social Security Administration.
  • By starting and stopping the application, you can respond to questions at your leisure.
  • Prior to submission, make necessary adjustments to the application.
  • Electronically submit your application.
  • You will be emailed a receipt for your application, which you may print and save for your records.
  • Utilize your confirmation number to check the status of your application online.

Once you’ve established your online account, you’ll be able to access your credit report. This can assist you in the future, once you begin collecting benefits, in protecting your Social Security information.


What happens after I submit my application for Medicare?

Once they get your Medicare application, they will examine it and contact you if additional information or documentation is required. Once they have received all of the required information and papers, they will process your application and mail you a decision letter. Use the Medicare application checklist to determine which documents and information you will need when applying for Medicare.

If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or health insurance, you may want to inquire about the impact of enrolling in Medicare with your personnel office or insurance company.

If you are unable to apply for Medicare online, you may use one of the following alternative methods:

By phone

call 800-772-1213 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may contact TTY 800-325-0778 if you are deaf or hard of hearing.

In Person

Visit the Social Security office closes to you. Call to schedule an appointment beforehand. If you are not a resident of the United States of America or one of its territories, you may also contact the nearest US Social Security office, US Embassy, or US Consulate.