Can I Apply for Medicare Online?
This article was updated on: 09/15/2018
If you are approaching Medicare eligibility, you may have questions about how to sign up to receive your benefits. Fortunately, you have more convenient options than making an appointment with a representative and driving to your local Social Security Administration office. Learn how to enroll in Medicare the easy way—online. Applying online allows you to start and stop the application with your information saved, make corrections prior to submission, receive an online receipt for your records, and check your application status online.
Do I need to apply for Medicare?
Many people are enrolled in Medicare automatically once they turn 65. If you are already getting Social Security benefits or benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, in most cases you’ll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Look for your “Welcome to Medicare” package in the mail about three months before your 65th birthday. Your package will include your Medicare card. It also contains information about Part B coverage, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans.
If you are under age 65 but get disability benefits from Social Security, you may also be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B after you receive disability benefits for 24 months in a row. You’ll receive a “Welcome to Medicare” package with your Medicare Card and instructions about your coverage about 3 months before your 25th month of disability benefits.
If you are 65 and not receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, perhaps because you’ve continued to work and have health insurance through a union or your employer, you’ll need to sign up for your Medicare benefits. Usually Medicare will not mail you any information if you’re not getting Social Security benefits, so you’ll need to take steps to apply on your own during your Initial Enrollment Period to avoid potential penalties.
How do I apply for Medicare online?
Applying for your Medicare benefits online is a simple 10-minute process for most people, and you won’t need to send in any documents or other information to apply. In order to use the online application process, you must:
- Be at least 64 years and 9 months old.
- Want to enroll in Medicare and not currently receiving any Medicare benefits, including premium-free Part A.
- Not be receiving any Social Security retirement, survivor, or disability benefits.
(If you are under 65 or live in Puerto Rico you may not be able to apply for Medicare online.)
You can complete the online application through the Social Security Administration website. If you have any questions or problems completing the online Medicare application, you can contact the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213; TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.You can speak to a representative Mon-Fri 7am-7pm.
Please note that if you worked for a railroad, you must apply for Medicare through the Railroad Retirement Board. You can contact them at (877) 772-5772
(TTY users should call (312) 751-4701).You may reach a representative Mon-Fri 9am-3:30pm
What happens after I apply for Medicare online?
Once you complete your online application, Medicare will review it to ensure all information is complete. Make sure you have accurate contact information in case Medicare needs to contact you about your application information and so that you receive your Medicare enrollment information and ID cards.
Once your application is processed, you will receive a decision letter in the mail. If you have any questions during the application process or after you have submitted your application, you can always call the number above for assistance.
Do you have questions about when to apply for Medicare or what plans and options are best for you? I’d like to help you understand your options. If you’d prefer, you can get information via email or schedule a telephone call by clicking one of the links at the bottom of the page. To see a list of plans in your area you may be eligible for, click the “Compare Plans” button.