How to Enroll in medicare

Medicare enrollment happens automatically for some people. Others need to enroll themselves when they first become eligible. It all depends on your situation.

How Automatic Enrollment in Medicare Works

. You will be enrolled automatically in Original Medicare Parts A and B if:
  • You are turning 65 and are getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.
  • You are under 65 and have received disability benefits for 24 months.
  • You have Lou Gehrig’s disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS) and start getting disability benefits.

You will get your Medicare card in the mail a few months before your 65th birthday or before your 25th month of getting disability benefits. You’ll get it immediately if you have ALS. Keeping the card means you accept Original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. You also agree to pay Part B premiums. (If you live in Puerto Rico, you need to enroll yourself in Part B; it’s not automatic.)

You must notify Medicare if you decide to refuse or delay Part B. You may want to do this if you have other health care coverage, such as through an employer or union. Follow the instructions on the back of your Medicare card.

If you enroll in Part B, you may have other

How to Enroll in Medicare Yourself


  • You need to take action to sign up for Medicare if:

    • You are turning 65 and are not currently getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.
    • You qualify for Medicare because you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
    • You live in Puerto Rico and want Part B coverage.

    You can sign up for Medicare online. You can also enroll in Medicare by phone or in person at any Social Security office. Call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time, to make an appointment. 

    If you live outside the United States and its territories, contact the nearest U.S. Social Security office, U.S. Embassy or consulate, or the Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO) in the Philippines.

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