If you are not already receiving Railroad Retirement or Social Security benefits at age 65, you will not be notified when it is time for you to enroll in Medicare. If you do not have other creditable coverage and you miss your enrollment deadline and are then assessed a late enrollment penalty, you cannot appeal on the basis that you did not know.
There are three ways to sign up for Medicare when turning 65
You can sign up by contacting your local or Social Security office or the Railroad Retirement Board if you worked for the railroad and schedule an appointment.
You may also sign up for Medicare online at:
Alternatively, you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and sign up over the phone.
Signing up for Part B when you already have Part A
If you signed up for Part A but did not sign up for Part B when you first turned 65 because you had other creditable coverage, such as having coverage through you or your spouse’s employer, you will need to provide proof of coverage before you can sign up for Medicare Part B.
You will need to submit the Request for Employment Information and the Application for Enrollment in Part B form. You can download these forms by clicking the links below.
Request for Employment Information
Application for Enrollment in Part B
Once you have downloaded the forms and filled them out correctly, you need to schedule an appointment with your local Social Security office
It’s best to start this process at least three months in advance of your desired Part B start date, as scheduling an appointment with your local Social Security office may take one or even two months.
If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), you may sign up during the General Enrollment Period (GEP), which runs from January 1 to March 31. Your coverage will begin on July 1. In addition, you may pay a Part B late enrollment penalty (10% per 12-month period) that lasts as long as you have Medicare coverage.
Medicare has many rules, timelines, and penalties, and there are different rules that apply to different situations. That is why it’s important to consult a licensed insurance agent who specializes in Medicare products.
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