How To Sign Up For Medicare
Get Started With Medicare
If you are turning 65 soon, it is time to think about applying for Original Medicareǂ. Here are three ways to apply:
Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users 1-800-325-0778)
Go to your local Social Security office
If you’re already getting Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you don’t have to worry about enrolling — you’ll be enrolled automatically.
Once you’ve signed up for Original Medicareǂ, you can explore options like Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and prescription drug (Part D) plans that can give you additional benefits and cover costs that Original Medicareǂ doesn’t.
When Are You Eligible To Sign Up For Original Medicareǂ?
The best time to apply is during your initial enrollment period. That’s the three months before, the month you turn 65, and the three months after. This will help you avoid fees or delays in coverage. If you have questions or are wondering about signing up for Medicare while still working, we can help you find the best time to sign up. You can also find out more about Medicare eligibility here.
When Is The Best Time To Sign Up For A Medicare Advantage Or A Prescription Drug Plan?
Unless you have better drug coverage from another source, the best time to buy a Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Prescription Drug (Part D) plan is right after you become eligible for Original Medicareǂ. This could be during your initial enrollment period when you turn 65, when you are eligible because of disability, or another reason.
If you don’t sign up during this time you will have to wait until the Annual Election Period unless you are subject to a Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
Even if you don’t use prescription drugs now, purchasing a Part D or Medicare Advantage plan for the future is a good idea. And since prescription drug use increases with age, it can protect you from paying unexpected costs.
When Can You Add A Medicare Supplement Plan?
You can sign up for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan during your open enrollment period. This period lasts six months and begins the first day of the month in which you are 65 or older* and enrolled in Original Medicareǂ Part B. You must also be signed up for Original Medicareǂ Part A.
How And When Can You Switch Medicare Plans?
If you want to make a change to your plan or switch to another plan, such as changing from a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan to a Medicare Advantage plan, you can do so during the Annual Election Period (AEP)
Outside of the AEP, if you have certain life events such as moving or your plan changes, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
How Do You Sign Up For A Medicare Advantage Or Medicare Supplement And Prescription Drug (Part D) Plan?
You can sign-up for a Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, or Prescription Drug (Part D) plan with us. We offer plans in most areas of the country.
Our secure online store lets you shop for plans. You enter information from your red, white, and blue Medicare ID card, add any prescriptions, add your preferred doctors and facilities, and answer a few questions. We’ll show you plans that are a match for you. You can also find answers to your questions, receive a quote, and apply online.
Find a Medicare plan that fits your needs. Explore your plan options.
Other Articles From "Understanding Medicare and Its Parts"
What Does Medicare Cover?
What Is Medicare Part A?
What is Medicare Part B?
What Is Medicare Part C?
What is Medicare Part D?
Signing up for Medicare
Why Choose Empire?
Get the facts on Medicare vs Medicaid
What Is Medicare?
‡ Original Medicare: Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).
Empire BlueCross BlueShield is a Medicare Advantage plan with a Medicare contract. Empire BlueCross BlueShield is a SNP plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the state Medicaid program. Enrollment in Empire BlueCross BlueShield depends on contract renewal.