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How do I apply for Medicare Part A?

Automatic Enrollment

Some people will be enrolled in Original Medicare (which includes Parts A and B) automatically. This includes those already receiving Social Security or similar benefits several months prior to their 65th birthday as well as those who have been receiving disability benefits for two or more years. Automatic enrollees should expect to receive a Medicare card in the mail around the time they become eligible for Medicare coverage.

Manual Enrollment

Anyone who is not enrolled automatically will need to apply manually in order to get Medicare Part A and B. It should be noted that enrollment can only be done at certain times. Your Initial Enrollment Period lasts for seven months surrounding the month of your 65th birthday and is generally the best time to enroll. There is also the General Enrollment Period, which runs from January to March each year, and Special Enrollment Periods, which can be triggered by the loss of other health coverage. The exact time at which you choose to enroll is important, as it will impact when your coverage begins and whether you have to pay late enrollment penalties. Because Medicare is closely tied to Social Security, you can apply for Parts A/B through the Social Security website, over the phone, or in person at your local Social Security office. If you have worked on a railroad, you may also enroll through the Railroad Retirement Board.

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When can I apply for Medicare Part B?

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