How do I enroll for Medicare benefits?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

You can enroll in Medicare when you file for retirement or disability benefits. You can also just apply for Medicare separately online at or at an appointment at your local Social Security office. You can contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Do apply within three months of your 65th birthday (no matter what) or some Social Security benefits may be waived.

If your retirement benefits come from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you will need to call your local RRB office or 1-877-772-5772 with any questions you have about Medicare.

For those of you who are already receiving Social Security benefits, you have been automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, but you can turn down Part B since you need to pay a premium. However, you will need to find another way to pay for the services covered under Part B like how to pay many of your providers (doctors, etc.).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.