Need help getting started with Medicare?
To enroll in Medicare for the very first time, you may need to contact Social Security directly to learn about your Part A and Part B (Original Medicare) benefits. You’ll get information about what the different Parts cover, what you’re eligible for, when it will go into effect, and other important details. It’s recommended you do this before your 65th birthday to avoid lapse in coverage and avoid any late enrollment penalties.
Upon contacting Social Security, you should receive a packet in the mail from Medicare before you turn 65.
You can enroll in Medicare online, in person at your local Social Security office, or by calling (800) 772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Things to remember about the Initial Enrollment Period:
- If you are planning to retire, you have a 7-month window surrounding your 65th birthday to enroll to avoid penalties.
- You need both Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) to sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan
Once you enroll, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the regulatory body who manages Medicare, will send you a packet in the mail with your Medicare card and a handbook with important information about Medicare coverage choices.
If you’ve passed your Initial Enrollment Period, which is a 7 month time frame that includes the 3 months before your 65th birthday, your birthday month and 3 months after your birthday, you may need to wait for a qualifying event to be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, or wait for the Annual Election Period to do so.
Ready to take the next step? Speak with a licensed insurance agent from eHealth for more information.