Medicare is a health-insurance program for persons over the age of 65 in the United States. People under the age of 65, such as those with disabilities or those who have irreversible renal failure, may be eligible for Medicare.
The program assists with healthcare costs, but it does not cover all medical expenses or most long-term care costs. You can get Medicare coverage in a variety of ways. You can purchase a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy from a private insurance provider if you opt to have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage.
Original Medicare is enrolled in you by Social Security (Part A and Part B).
Part A (hospital insurance) of Medicare helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or a short period in a skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay). Part A also covers some home health and hospice services.
Medicare Part B (medical insurance) helps pay for outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services provided by doctors and other health care providers.
Other aspects of Medicare are managed by private insurance firms that adhere to Medicare’s guidelines.
Supplemental (Medigap) insurance helps pay for Medicare copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
All of the benefits and services covered under Parts A and B, as well as additional benefits like vision, hearing, and dental, are bundled together in a Medicare Advantage Plan (previously known as Part C).
Prescription medications are covered under Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage).
If they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough, most people aged 65 and up are eligible for free medical hospital insurance (Part A). By paying a monthly premium, you can enroll in Medicare medical insurance (Part B). Some beneficiaries with higher earnings will be required to pay a surcharge.
Should I Sign Up For Medical Insurance (Part B)?
You can enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) using our online application (medical insurance). You have the option to decline Part B coverage because it requires a premium.
If you’re 65 years old and eligible, your initial enrollment period starts three months before your birthday including the month you turn 65, and concludes three months following your birthday.
If you delay enrolling in Medicare Part B and later decide to do so, your coverage may be delayed, and you may have to pay a higher monthly premium for the duration of your Part B coverage. For each 12-month period in which you were eligible for Part B but did not enroll, your monthly premium will increase by 10%.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
You may not need to apply for Medicare Part B at age 65 if you have medical insurance via your or your spouse’s current employer’s group health plan. You may be eligible for a “Special Enrollment Period” (SEP) during which you can sign up for Part B:
Any month you remain covered under the group health plan and your or your spouse’s employment continues.
The 8-month period that begins with the month after your group health plan coverage or the employment is based on ends, whichever comes first.
How To Apply Online For Just Medicare
If you are within three months of turning 65 and are not yet ready to begin receiving monthly Social Security payments, you can use our online retirement application to enroll in Medicare only and wait to apply for your retirement or spouse’s benefits later. It takes less than ten minutes, and there are no forms to sign or paperwork to complete.
To help protect your identity, your Medicare card has a Medicare Number that’s unique to you. If you did not receive your red, white, and blue Medicare card, there may be something that needs to be corrected, like your mailing address. You can update your mailing address by signing in to or creating your personal Social Security account. Learn more about your Medicare card.
Already Enrolled in Medicare
You can receive information and services online if you have Medicare. Learn how to take control of your benefits.
Please complete form CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B, if you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and want to enroll in Part B. (medical insurance). You must also fill out form CMS-L564, Request for Work Information if you are applying for Medicare Part B due to a loss of employment or group health coverage.
You can submit your registration request during the Special Enrollment Period using one of the following methods:
Complete CMS-40B and CMS-L564 under “Apply Online for Medicare Part B During a Special Enrollment Period.” Then, if you have evidence of a Group Health Plan or a Large Group Health Plan, upload it.