How Do I Sign Up For Medicare?
Learn How to Apply for Medicare, Part A and Part B Benefits.
Social Security is the branch individuals go through to apply for Medicare insurance benefits, Part A and Part B. Here’s a few ways to contact Social Security to sign up for Medicare Part A and B.
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to sign up for Medicare over the phone.
- Apply for Medicare and sign up online at Social Security.
- Find a Local Social Security office in your area and sign up for Medicare in person.
When to Sign Up for Medicare, Enrollment Periods
Initial Election Period (IEP)
“Initial Election Period” is a 7 month period for individuals turning 65 to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B. This is also the time to find Part D Prescription Drug insurance coverage. The IEP allows you to sign up for Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday, your birthday month, and 3 months following. Medicare sign up can be accomplished online at SocialSecurity.gov.
General Election Period
“General Election Period” is from January 1st-March 31st for individuals who didn’t sign up for Medicare. Medicare insurance coverage will start July 1st of that year. You may have a “late enrollment penalty” and have to pay more than the 2020 standard Part B premium of $144.60.
Special Election Period (SEP)
“Special Election Period” is for individuals who didn’t sign up for Medicare because they were covered under group insurance. As long as your, your spouse, or a family member’s (if disabled) group insurance coverage is deemed “credible coverage” you can avoid late enrollment penalties and receive an SEP.
SEP Medicare Sign Up
- Sign up for Medicare at anytime you’re still covered by the group health plan.
- An 8-month period that starts the month after employment ends or your group plan coverage ends. Whichever happens first.
COBRA and retiree health plans are not considered credible coverage. You’re not eligible for a Special Election period when coverage ends.
Call one of Retirement Transitions Specialist if you would like to speak to someone without waiting on hold and pressing multiple extensions. We will answer your Medicare Sign Up questions and concerns.