You are eligible to receive Medicare -- a federal health insurance program -- when you reach age 65, whether or not you have retired from your employment. Notifying the Social Security Administration is easy. However, you must confirm a few details about your current status to receive final confirmation of eligibility.
Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) at least three months before your 65th birthday to check eligibility and start the Medicare enrollment process. Phone 800-772-1213 and speak with a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call SSA’s TTY number at 800-325-0778 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Online support and enrollment is also available.
Enroll in Medicare Part A, which provides hospital coverage, online. You will automatically be enrolled in Parts A and B of medicare. However, as you must pay a premium for Part B, if your spouse is still working, making you eligible for group health coverage through an employer or union, you may want to wait to enroll in Medicare Part B (health insurance) until both of you are retired. See Resources for the Medicare online application.
Sign up for MyMedicare.gov, which is a secure online portal where you can manage your personal Medicare information.
Complete the Initial Enrollment Questionnaire (IEQ). Answer questions about your current health insurance, including any group health coverage your or a family member’s employer may offer. Submit the Initial Enrollment Questionnaire (IEQ) online at MyMedicare.gov or over the phone by calling the Coordination of Benefits Contractor at 800-999-1118.
You can apply by phone or in person at any Social Security office. Bring two forms of identification, such as a valid government-issued driver's license and a Social Security card.
Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.