- You can apply for Medicare online using the Social Security website.
- The application is completely free.
- You don’t need to sign any forms or submit any documents.
- You can check your application status at any time.
You can apply for Medicare without needing to visit a Social Security office or make any phone calls.
The Medicare application on the Social Security website allows you to apply completely online. In most cases, you won’t need to sign anything or send in any supporting documents.
The application is completely free. Once you apply, you’ll be able to check on the status of your application at any time.
You can use the online application to apply for just Medicare Part A or for Medicare parts A and B. Together, parts A and B are called original Medicare.
You can apply for Medicare in three ways:
- in person at a local Social Security office
- over the phone, by calling 800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday
- online, by visiting the Medicare section of the Social Security website
The online application is one of the quickest ways to apply for Medicare. You can fill it out on your own time, instead of making trips to the Social Security office or waiting on hold over the phone.
You’ll need to create a My Social Security account before you can fill out the application. You might already have a My Social Security account, but if you don’t you can set one up in just a few minutes.
Once you have an account, you can fill out the application. It will ask you for information including:
- your name
- your date of birth
- your Social Security number
- any current health insurance you have, including Medicaid
- the country you were born in if it wasn’t the United States
You can pause the application if you need to. You won’t have to take any other steps after you fill it out. You don’t need to sign anything or send in documentation.
You’ll receive a receipt of your application with a confirmation number in your “My Social Security” account. Social Security will contact you directly if more information is needed to process your application.
You can get multiple parts of Medicare by applying online:
- Part A. Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. You can apply for Part A online using the Social Security website.
- Part B. Medicare Part B is medical insurance. You can apply for Part B and Part A on the same application. You can also apply for Part B online using the Social Security website if you already have Part A.
- Part C. Medicare Part C is sometimes called Medicare Advantage. You need to have Medicare parts A and B before you can enroll in Medicare Advantage. You can then enroll in a plan in your area using the Medicare website.
- Part D. Medicare Part D is prescription drug insurance. Just like Part C, you’ll need to be enrolled in Medicare parts A and B before you can pick a Part D plan. You can then enroll in a plan online using the Medicare website.
- Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap). Medigap plans are optional coverage you can purchase to help cover the out-of-pocket costs of Medicare. You can apply for a Medigap plan online after you’ve enrolled in parts A and B.
So, your first step to getting any part of Medicare is to apply for original Medicare (parts A and B).
Once you’re enrolled in original Medicare, you can shop for Part C, Part D, and Medigap plans. The plans available to you will depend on where you live, since many plans are only offered in specific cities, states, or regions.
How do I apply for Medicare Extra Help?
Medicare Extra Help is a program to help Medicare members with limited incomes pay the costs of Medicare Part D. You’ll need to be enrolled in both original Medicare and Part D to apply.
You can apply for the Extra Help program using your My Social Security account. The Extra Help application can be completed online.
You’ll need to provide information about your income, like your recent:
- pay stubs
- bank statements
- tax returns
- Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits statements
- investment account statements
You can work on the application on your own time. However, you’ll only have 25 minutes on each page of the application unless you save your work and come back later.
You can check on the status of your Medicare application at any time using your My Social Security account. You can use the confirmation number you received when you submitted your application.
You’ll be able to see when your application has been received, is processing, and is approved. You can also call Social Security at 800-722-1213 to check on your status.
You’ll receive a decision letter in the mail when Social Security is done processing your application.
You’ll also receive your Medicare card in the mail, as long as your application was approved. It generally takes less than a month from the time you apply to the time you receive your card in the mail.
It doesn’t cost anything to apply for Medicare online. All applications done through Social Security are completely free, including original Medicare and Medicare Extra Help.
Your application for any additional coverage you select — like Part C, Part D, or Medigap — will also be free.
You can be eligible for Medicare in a few different ways:
- by turning 65 years old
- by having a disability and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments
- by having a diagnosis of end stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
When and how you apply for Medicare depends on how you’re eligible.
If you’re turning 65 years old, you can apply in the 3 months before and the 3 months after the month of your 65th birthday. So, once you’re 64 years and 9 months old, you can use the Social Security website to apply.
You’ll be automatically enrolled in original Medicare if you have a disability and receive SSDI. You’ll need to have been receiving SSDI for 24 months. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you once you reach your 24th month.
You don’t need to apply separately. However, you can shop for Part C, Part D, and Medigap plans once you’re enrolled in original Medicare.
You’ll also be automatically enrolled if you have a diagnosis of ESRD or ALS. However, in both of those cases, you won’t need to wait 24 months before your coverage will start.
Just like with disability eligibility, you can shop for a Part C, Part D, or Medigap plan once you’re enrolled. The only exception is that people who have ESRD aren’t eligible for Part C plans.
- You can apply for Medicare online using the Social Security website. The application is completely free.
- You’ll need to create a My Social Security account if you don’t already have one. Your account will let you apply for Medicare online and check your status at any time.
- You’ll need to apply for original Medicare (parts A and B) before you can apply for any other part of Medicare.
- Once Social Security approves your original Medicare application, you can enroll in additional coverage.
The information on this website may assist you in making personal decisions about insurance, but it is not intended to provide advice regarding the purchase or use of any insurance or insurance products. Healthline Media does not transact the business of insurance in any manner and is not licensed as an insurance company or producer in any U.S. jurisdiction. Healthline Media does not recommend or endorse any third parties that may transact the business of insurance.