Signing up for Medicare is easy. You do not need to gather any documents or even worry about signing any forms. In fact, depending on your situation, you may not even have to actively enroll in Medicare at all.
If you are not yet 65 years of age and are already getting Social Security benefits (or benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board), then the government will automatically enroll you in Medicare Parts A and B (also known as “Original Medicare”).
Even if you are not eligible in automatic enrollment, however, you can still easily sign up for Medicare by taking advantage of online enrollment. This lets you complete the entire application from virtually anywhere without having to make a trip to a nearby Social Security Administration (SSA) office.
Just follow these three steps to enroll in Medicare online:
- Visit the SSA’s online services page.
- Click on “Apply for Medicare Benefits.”
- Access, complete and submit the application.
The best time to sign up for Medicare is as soon as you’re eligible during the initial 7-month open enrollment period. For most people, this period consists of the 3 months before your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday, and the 3 months after.
This way, you can get hospital coverage (Part A) while paying as little as possible for medical insurance (Part B).
If you do not sign up for Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) during your initial enrollment period, you may be charged a lifetime penalty that will increase your monthly premiums once you do sign up.
In addition to signing up for Medicare, you also have the option of adding supplemental policies called “Medigap.” Just like the name suggests, these plans help pay for the services that are not fully covered by regular Medicare.
So don’t wait. You can apply online now through the SSA to take advantage of everything Medicare has to offer.