Medicare Explained

Enrolling into Medicare

Medicare Part A (inpatient/hospital insurance)

If you are receiving Social Security benefits, you should automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and receive your Medicare card in the mail around your 65th birthday.

If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, you may apply for Part A as soon as three months before your 65th birthday. You can apply online at http://www.ssa.gov/medicare or in person at your local Social Security office. Call 1-800-772-1213 to confirm Social Security office hours and holiday closures.


Medicare Part B ( (outpatient/medical insurance)

If you are receiving Social Security benefits, automatic enrollment in Part B should occur. If you were automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B and do not wish to keep your Part B coverage, follow the instructions included with your Medicare card and send it back to Social Security. If you keep the card, you keep Part B and pay monthly premiums.

If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, you must apply for Part B no sooner than three months before your 65th birthday.

You have a total of seven months to enroll in Medicare Part B - three months before the month you turn 65, the month of your birthday and three months after your birth month has ended. You can apply online at

http://www.ssa.gov/medicare or in person at your local Social Security office. Call 1-800-772-1213 to confirm Social Security office hours and holiday closures.

Once a full three months have passed since the month you turned 65, you are locked in to the decision you made. If you did not enroll in Medicare Part B when you were first eligible, you can sign up during the general enrollment period that begins Jan. 1 and ends March 31 each year and you may have to pay a higher monthly premium for late enrollment. Your coverage will begin on July 1 of that year.

Exceptions to the late enrollment penalty do apply (i.e., if you will continue to work and receive health insurance through your employer).

If you are planning to continue working past the age of 65, you will want to review the cost and benefits of your employer-based insurance and compare it to the cost and benefits of enrolling in Medicare Part B.


I Am Over 65 and Retiring

If you are planning to retire within the next year, it is time to start thinking about Medicare and your coverage options.

Understanding how Medicare works and transitioning to new medical coverage can seem confusing and overwhelming. We are here to make it easier.

If you were already receiving Social Security benefits when you turned 65, you should have been automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and should have received your Medicare card in the mail around your 65th birthday.

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