Medicare Enrollment and Eligibility


Signing up for part B is the only piece of this puzzle you will do by yourself. Notwithstanding all of the valuable information below and accessing us with your questions, signing up for part B involves your private data. Social Security keeps that secure and wants it to remain that way.


Most people age 65 or older are eligible for free Medical hospital insurance (Part A) if they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough. You can enroll in Medicare medical insurance (Part B) by paying a monthly premium. Some beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher monthly Part B premium. To learn more, read Medicare Premiums: Rules For Higher-Income Beneficiaries.

Should I Sign Up For Medical Insurance (Part B)?


surance (Part A) if they have wo

With Social Security’s online application, you can sign up for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down.


If you’re eligible at age 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn age 65, and ends three months after that birthday.


If you choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B and then decide to do so later, your coverage could be delayed and you may have to pay a higher monthly premium for as long as you have Part B. Your monthly premium will go up 10 percent for each 12-month period you were eligible for Part B, but didn’t sign up for it, unless you qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period” (SEP).


If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period, you have another chance each year to sign up during a “general enrollment period” from January 1 through March 31. Your coverage begins on July 1 of the year you enroll.

How to Apply Online Just for Medicare Part B
During a Special Enrollment Period


If you are within three months of turning age 65 or older and not ready to start your monthly Social Security benefits yet, you can use Social Security’s online retirement application to sign up just for Medicare and wait to apply for your retirement or spouses benefits later. It takes less than 10 minutes, and there is usually no documentation is required.

  • When you click on the button, simply answer the questions in order, always click “next” at the bottom of each page, and then there’s a virtual signature, which is a box to check. Keep clicking “next” or “finish” to be sure it’s done!
  • Sign up for Medicare Part B ONLY if you don’t want your monthly Social Security benefit to begin.
  • Already taking Social Security?  No worries!  The system knows that & lets you sign up for Part B.
  •  Remarks section: Request your Medicare Part B (Only) to begin on the first day of the month you want it to be effective.
  • If you’re getting benefits from your former spouse, then the social for Medicare is their number, not yours.
  • Remarks section: Write former spouse’s name with their social security number on one line then your name and social below
    it for clarity. (Same for a deceased spouse).
  • Save your “re-entry” number for changes if you need to exit and return later to finish.
  • Complete the process by checking the signature box and typing in your name.

Special Enrollment Period

If you have medical insurance coverage under a group health plan based on your or your spouse’s current employment, you may not need to apply for Medicare Part B at age 65. You may qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period” (SEP) that will let you sign up for Part B during:

  • Any month you remain covered under the group health plan and you or your spouse’s employment continues.
  • The 8-month period that begins with the month after your group health plan coverage or the employment it is based on ends, whichever comes first.

How to Apply Online for Medcare Part B
During your Initial Enrollment Period


If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and you want to enroll in Part B, please complete form CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B (medical insurance). If you are applying for Medicare Part B due to a loss of employment or group health coverage, you will also need to complete form CMS-L564, Request for Employment Information.

You can use one of the following options to submit your enrollment request under the Special Enrollment Period:

  1. Go to “Apply Online for Medicare Part B During a Special Enrollment Period” and complete CMS-40B and CMS-L564. Then upload your evidence of Group Health Plan or Large Group Health Plan.
  2. Fax or mail your CMS-40BCMS-L564, and secondary evidence to your local Social Security office (see list of secondary evidence below).

Note: When completing the forms CMS-40B and CMS-L564

  • State “I want Part B coverage to begin (MM/YY)” in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
  • If possible, your employer should complete Section B.
  • If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best as you can on behalf of your employer without your employer’s signature and submit one of the following forms of secondary evidence:
    • Income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid.
    • W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
    • Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
    • Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
    • Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
    • Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.

You’ll have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) unless you make another choice. You can decide to add a drug plan (Part D) or buy a Medigap policy to help pay for costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. You can choose to join a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and get all your Medicare coverage (including drugs and extra benefits like vision, hearing, dental, and more) bundled together in one plan.

Some people with limited resources and income may also be able to get Extra Help to pay for Part D drug costs.

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