When the time comes for you to enroll in Medicare, you have several options. While Medicare enrollment is automatic for some people, for others, it often depends on when and how they become eligible. You’ve probably asked yourself the question: how do I sign up for Medicare Part A?
How do I Sign Up for Medicare Part A
This post discusses how to sign up for health insurance with Medicare Part A and how you become eligible. We’ll cover how you qualify for automatic enrollment, as well as the need to enroll manually.
How to Enroll in Medicare
You can enroll in Medicare part A in the following ways:
- In person at your local Social Security office.
- By calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 .
- In-person at your local Social Security office.
- If you worked at a railroad, you can enroll in Medicare by contacting the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and speak to an RRB representative.
When to Enroll in Medicare
- There are several situations where Medicare enrollment may occur automatically:
- If you are receiving retirement benefits.
- If you’re already collecting Social Security or RRB retirement benefits when you turn 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance).
- If you live in D.C. or outside the 50 United states such as in Puerto Rico, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A. However, you’ll have to manually enroll for Medicare part B.
- If you’re receiving disability benefits.
- If you’re under the age of 65 and receiving certain disability benefits from the RRB or Social Security, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, after 24 months of disability benefits. The exception to this rule is if you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If you have ESRD and you need regular kidney dialysis or had a kidney transplant, you can apply for Medicare. If you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS), you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare in the same month that you start receiving disability benefits.
Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
Most people are enrolled in Medicare Part A automatically. However, there are a few instances when you may be required to manually enroll in Medicare Part A during the IEP, which is seven months (starting three months before you turn 65 and ending three months after your 65th birthday).
Some situations where you would be required to enroll for Medicare during your initial enrollment include:
- Medicare general enrollment period.
- If you don’t qualify for retirement benefits.
- If you aren’t receiving retirement benefits.
- Medicare special enrollment period.
Medicare can be quite beneficial. The tips mentioned should help you answer the question: How do I sign up for Medicare Part A. It’s always to your benefit, however, to enroll as soon as you’re eligible, even if you still have Medical cover through a group health plan. Moreover, Medicare can impose hefty fines for late applications, so make sure you enroll during the enrollment window.