How Do I Enroll?
You can enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B in the following ways:
- Online at www.SocialSecurity.gov.
- By calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users 1-800-0778), Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM.
- In-person at your local Social Security office.
- If you worked at a railroad, enroll in Medicare by contacting the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) at 1-877-772-5772
(TTY users 1-312-751-4701). You can call Monday through Friday, 9AM to 3:30PM, to speak to an RRB representative.
Getting Extra Coverage
Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, doesn't cover vision services, routine dental care, or out-of-the-country medical expenses. Either of the following types of Medicare plan options might cover costs not covered by Original Medicare (coverage varies by the plan).
Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is another way to receive Original Medicare benefits and is offered through private insurance companies. At minimum, all Medicare Advantage plans must offer the same Medicare Part A and Part B benefits as Original Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans also include additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage. You must have Original Medicare, Part A and B, to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan through a private insurer.
Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare prescription drug coverage is optional and does not occur automatically. You can receive coverage for prescription drugs by either signing up for a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage, also known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. Medicare prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans are available through private insurers. Please note that you cannot have both a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan and a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage.
Medicare Supplement Plans (or Medigap) are voluntary, additional coverage that helps fills the gaps in coverage for Original Medicare. The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan is during your individual Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which is the six-month period that begins on the first day of the month you turn 65 and have Medicare Part B. If you decide to delay your enrollment in Medicare Part B for certain reasons such as having health coverage based on current employment, your Medigap Open Enrollment Period will not begin until you sign up for Part B.
Before you apply for Medicare, it's critical for you to be aware of how Medicare coverage fits in with your health and drug needs, now and in the future. There are several types of private Medicare plan options, and many factors you may need to consider when choosing or changing your Medicare coverage. Click here for all the information you need on Medicare Coverage options and costs.