How Do I Sign Up for Medicare?

4 easy steps to help guide the process.

You may have a lot of questions about Medicare eligibility and coverage. Yes, it can feel a little overwhelming at first. But here’s the good news: Signing up requires only a few steps. It is fairly easy but remember if you have any questions or need any assistance, our team is here to help.

If you’re thinking about signing up for Medicare soon, here’s what you need to do to enroll.

1. Figure Out if You’re Eligible

The first step you’ll need to take is determining if you’re eligible to enroll in Medicare. Medicare is open to people age 65 and older. It’s is also available to people with end-stage kidney disease and younger people with certain disabilities.

You can verify your Medicare eligibility with this tool from Medicare.gov.

2. Find a Medicare Plan

When it comes to choosing a Medicare plan, you have a few options. It’s important to consider what kind of medical services you would like covered with your plan.

You can enroll in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), which is administered by the federal government. Part A covers hospital expenses, like:

  • Home healthcare
  • Hospice care
  • Inpatient hospital care

Part B can cover other medical needs like:

  • Ambulance services
  • Durable medical equipment (DME)
  • Urgent care

However, Original Medicare doesn’t cover every medical expense. For example, it won’t cover prescription drugs, dental, vision, and hearing. If you want coverage for these services, you may want to consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

You can also enroll in standalone Medicare plans that offer additional coverage, like Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) or a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.

3. Fill Out the Social Security Application

Once you’ve confirmed that you’re eligible for Medicare and you’ve chosen a plan, you can apply through the Social Security Administration. Although Medicare is operated through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Social Security processes enrollment applications.

You can fill out the application online or in person at a local Social Security office. The Social Security Administration will take a few weeks to process your application and mail your Medicare card.

4. Remember Enrollment Periods

You’re eligible to enroll in Medicare during the Initial Enrollment Period, which starts three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after you turn 65. It’s a good idea to enroll as soon as possible to avoid any gaps in coverage or penalty fees.

If you miss the Initial Enrollment Period, keep these other windows in mind:

  • The General Medicare Enrollment Period for Original Medicare (Part A and B) is January 1-March 31. Coverage starts July 1.
  • You can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan or PDP when you first sign up for Medicare. If you miss that chance, the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans is October 15-December 7. You can also drop or change your coverage during this period.
  • You can enroll during a Special Enrollment Period if you meet specific requirements.

Next Steps

If you’re interested in learning whether Medicare is right for you, we’re ready to help. Are you ready to talk to one of our specialists about Medicare plans? Please call us at 305.541.5366 to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Medicare plans offered through Leon Health.

Ready to Enroll with LEON Health?

As you prepare for Medicare, you’ll be faced with many important decisions. LEON Health wants to help you select the best options for your needs.

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