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  • Writer's pictureBrad Gunning

How to Enroll in Medicare

Updated: May 22, 2019

You become eligible to enroll in Medicare beginning three months prior to your 65th birthday. If you are already collecting Social Security retirement, then you will be automatically enrolled. If you are not already receiving your Social Security, then you will need to sign up to be enrolled.

Your enrollment window is as follows: the three months prior to your 65th birthday, the month that you turn 65, and the three months after. This means if you turn 65 in July, then your enrollment window begins in April and ends in October. If you miss this enrollment window you will have to wait until the General Enrollment Window, which is January through March, to sign up for Medicare and you might have to pay a penalty.

There are some special exceptions to these rules. For instance, if you have health insurance through an employer group health insurance plan, then you don’t necessarily have to enroll in Medicare until that plan ends. There are a lot of little exceptions, so if you have a special situation then your best option is to give us a call and we'll help you make sense of it.

How to Enroll in Medicare

Now that you know when you can enroll in Medicare, you need to know how to do so. You can enroll in Medicare by contacting the Social Security Administration via the internet, phone, or in person:

Medicare Card
  • By visiting,

  • By calling 1-800-772-1213 Monday-Friday, from 7AM to 7PM EST, or

  • By visiting your local Social Security office.

If you are near your 65th birthday and haven’t signed up for Medicare, you should enroll in the coverage as soon as possible. When you enroll, you will most likely want to enroll in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Medicare will then mail you a red, white, and blue Medicare card with your personal Medicare number on it. Keep this in a safe place and make some copies of it!

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