When To Sign Up

How It Works  > What Medicare Covers >  When To Sign-Up >  Choosing The Right Plan >  What Is The Cost >  Ways to Save


With the age at which we receive our full social security benefits being pushed back, many people are confused about when they can file for Medicare or how to apply.

How to apply to Arizona Medicare

When To File For Medicare

If you are already on social security and you are approaching your 65th birthday, you will get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail 3 months before your 65th birthday. If you are delaying going on social security until age 66 or later and you want to go on Medicare, then you probably need to contact Social Security to apply for your Medicare card.

How To File for Medicare

You can apply on line at www. Medicare.gov and fill out a Medicare application or you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to sign up for Part A and Part B. You should do this about 3 months before you want Medicare coverage to start.

Typically, Medicare coverage starts on the first day of the month that you have your 65th birthday, or choose to accept Medicare Part B.

“When Can I Get Medicare?”

When you receive your Medicare card, it will come to you in an envelope from CMS (Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services). Any information that you receive from CMS is official Medicare information and should be kept for future reference. Your Medicare card will come to you in the mail with Part A filled in with an effective date.

It will also have Part B filled in with an effective date.

If you don’t want Part B, then follow the instructions that come with the card and send the card back. If you keep the card, you keep Part B and will pay the Part B premium.

The Part B premium is deducted off the top of the social security check that you receive each month. If you go on Medicare at age 65, but delay receiving social security benefits until later, then the government will bill you for the Part B monthly premium.

“Can I Say No to Part B?”

If someone is working for a company that is paying for their health care benefits, and they want to continue to work after age 65 and continue to receive those health care benefits, then they may decide to delay signing up for Part B. To decide what is best for your situation, check with your Human Resources Department.

If the Human Resources Department advises you to delay in signing up for Part B, then follow the instructions and send your Medicare card back. You will then be issued a new card with only Part A filled in.

At a future date, when you decide that you want to retire from your company, then you can contact social security and request a new card with a start date for Part B that you would choose. Usually this start date would be the first day of the month after which your company health benefits are terminated.

 Medicare Registration is 6 Months

Once you are 65 and receive your Medicare card and have effective dates for both Part A and Part B filled in, the clock starts ticking for six months. This six month period is called the Open Enrollment Period.

During this six month period, you have a guaranteed right to buy any Medicare supplement (Medigap) policy sold in your state.

Written by Medicare Expert Andy Lockridge

You cannot be turned down for coverage during this time. Once this period starts, it cannot be delayed or replaced. The best time, therefore, to buy a Medicare supplement policy is during this six month Open Enrollment Period. Once this six month period is over, your option to buy a Medigap policy may be limited and it may cost you more.

In addition, you may have to pass medical underwriting to apply for a Medicare supplement policy in the future.