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Medicare: Original Fee-For-Service

Original Fee-For-Service Medicare: How Do I Enroll?

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You will automatically be enrolled in Original Fee-For-Service Medicare if you're receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits when you become eligible for Medicare.

You may enroll at age 65. The earlier you enroll, the sooner coverage starts.

You can enroll over the telephone or at your local Social Security office.

Automatic Enrollment

Enrollment in Medicare is automatic if you are already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits at the time you become eligible for Medicare. For example: If you took early retirement, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65. If you are collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare when you have collected SSDI benefits for 24 months.

If your enrollment is automatic, you will receive your Medicare card about two months before it will be effective. Medicare will automatically enroll you in both Part A and Part B. Payments for Part B premiums will be deducted from your Social Security benefit. If you decide that you do not want Part B, a form accompanies the card that you can complete and return. Medicare will then issue you a card for Part A only. See Should I Take Part B Coverage?

How To Enroll In Medicare

You may enroll in Medicare at age 65 even if you are not enrolling in Social Security Retirement benefits until later. (If you took early retirement, you'll get Medicare at 65 automatically.)

To be sure you obtain Medicare at the earliest moment, enroll in Medicare approximately three months before you become eligible for it.

Call or go to your local Social Security Administration office and tell them you wish to apply for Medicare. If you are requesting retirement benefits at the same time, make sure you complete the application for retirement benefits as well. Social Security's number is 800.772.1213.

The Medicare application is not available on line.

Since coverage is determined by age or eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, very little information is required other than identifying information.  


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