As you get closer and closer to turning 65, you might question whether or not you need to enroll in Medicare. Do you need to enroll or will you be automatically enrolled?

Collecting Social Security benefits?

If you are collecting some form of Social Security, whether that is due to retirement or disability, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you become eligible. You become eligible when you turn 65 or have been receiving Social Security Disability for 24 months.

If you are not collecting Social Security because of retirement or disability, then you will need to enroll. There are 3 main ways for enrolling to Medicare; online, by the phone, or in person. The choice of how you want to apply is up to you.

Enroll in Medicare online

Social Security offers an online retirement application that can be completed in as little as 15 minute and from the comfort of your own home. Which means, you don’t need to brave the traffic and can stay in your pajamas. It’s a win win!

To do so, visit the Social Security website and follow the links on applying.

In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. Social Security will process your application and contact you by telephone or by mail if any further information is needed.

Many people opt to apply online as it is the quickest and easiest.

Enroll in Medicare by phone

To apply by phone, you will need to contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and let the customer service representation know you would like to apply for Medicare. You are usually able to get through to someone pretty quickly, but if the call volume is high, they will likely schedule an appointment to call you back.

While the phone part of the process, is relatively quick, they will have to mail forms for you to fill out, and then you have to mail those forms back in, which can take a couple of weeks. Therefore, this is only a good option if you have a month of two lead time before the application is due.

Enroll in Medicare in person

Some people just prefer to apply face to face. If that is you, simply visit your local Social Security office. Not sure where that is? Visit the website to search for the one closest to you. When you arrive, you will meet with a representative who will walk you through what is needed from you.

Learn more about when to enroll for Medicare.