How to Apply for Medicare

How to apply for Medicare? Many people believe the process of applying for Medicare to be time intensive and paper work heavy. In a way, it is. But if you are prepared with the information and documents you need before you start, the process can be much easier.

Before you start, if you have not done so already, please refer to the article on Medicare Eligibility to make sure you are eligible to receive Medicare benefits at this time.

The first step to apply for Medicare is knowing when to apply. You can either apply for benefits at the same time you sign up to receive Social Security Retirement Benefits or you can apply for Medicare separately. In order to do that, you will need to meet the following conditions:

  1. Be at least 64 years, 8 months of age
  2. Not be receiving any Medicare benefits at the current time
  3. Do not want to receive Social Security Benefits at the current time.

If you are currently employed and have health insurance through your employer, you will want to talk with them first about how applying for Medicare will affect your current benefits.

Where to Apply for Medicare

The Medicare application forms are all available on the Medicare website and can be completed and submitted online. If you aren't comfortable using online forms, you can have someone close to you complete the information on your behalf. If you are interested in completing your application in this manner, click the link to go to the official Medicare Application website.

apply for medicare, medicare application

If you need more assistance or simply do not want to apply over the internet, you can always go into your local Social Security office and someone can assist you in the application process.

Information You Will Need to Provide

When trying to understand how to apply for Medicare, one of the best ways to make the process go more smoothly is to have all of your information collected ahead of time. For the initial application, you will need to provide the following information:

  1. Name and address
  2. Social Security Number
  3. Date of birth
  4. Employment history
  5. Spouses date of birth and social security number
  6. Any additional information asked for during the online application process

If you are learning how to apply for Medicare alone, the process is actually quite stream lined and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. If, however, you are applying to receive Social Security Retirement Benefits at the same time, you will need to provide more information.

If you are comfortable using a computer or having someone complete the form online for you, the steps to learn how to apply for Medicare are listed above. If you prefer to apply either over the telephone or in person, your local Social Security office can set up an appointment for you to come in and one of their representatives will be able to assist you through the process.

Some of the documents you may need to provide include original birth certificate, marriage and/or divorce certificates and copies of recent W2's. Once you have submitted your application, either online or in person, Medicare will contact you if they require any further information or documents.

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