By Vonda Van Til, Social Security public affairs specialist
You can apply for Medicare online even if you are not ready to start your retirement benefits. Applying online is quick and easy. There are no forms to sign, and we usually do not require additional documentation. We’ll process your application and contact you if we need more information.
Knowing when to apply for Medicare is very important! You must apply during your limited initial enrollment period. If you’re eligible for Medicare at age 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after that date. If you miss your initial enrollment period, you may have to pay a higher monthly premium. Visit www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare to apply for Medicare and find other important information.
If you were unable to enroll or disenroll in Medicare because you could not reach us by phone after January 1, 2022, you will be granted additional time, through December 30, 2022. This additional time applies to the 2022 General Enrollment Period, Initial Enrollment Period, and Special Enrollment Period.
Some people who receive Medicare benefits may qualify for Extra Help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs, including the monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and co-payments. To qualify for Extra Help, you must receive Medicare, have limited resources and income and reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Read the publication Understanding the Extra Help with Your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan for more information at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10508.pdf.
The Medicare website has answers to your questions and other helpful resources including:
- What does Medicare cover? Find out at medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers.
- Where do I find forms to file a Medicare appeal? Visit medicare.gov/claims-appeals/how-do-i-file-an-appeal for more.
- How can I let someone else talk to Medicare on my behalf? Learn more at medicare.gov/claims-appeals/file-an-appeal/can-someone-file-an-appeal-for-me.
- What do Medicare health and prescription drug plans cost in my area, and what services do they offer? Check out medicare.gov/plan-compare.
- Which doctors, health care providers, and suppliers participate in Medicare? See medicare.gov/forms-help-resources/find-compare-doctors-hospitals-other-providers for the answers.
- Where can I learn more about a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) and enroll? Visit medicare.gov/drug-coverage-part-d/how-to-get-prescription-drug-coverage.
- Where can I find a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy in my area? Find the answers at medicare.gov/medigap-supplemental-insurance-plans.
Please share these helpful resources with friends and family today.
Vonda Van Til is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org