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How to sign up for Medicare Part A

Are you ready for Medicare? Congratulations! Now...how do you get Medicare Part A benefits? Let us make it easy.

Who is eligible for Medicare Part A?

Everyone 65 and older is eligible for Medicare Part A. The eligibility difference lies in payment—some individuals are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, while others are not. Individuals who have paid Medicare taxes while working for 10 years are eligible for Medicare Part A without premiums.

Individuals with disabilities who are under 65 can also be eligible for Medicare   Part A.

What does Medicare Part A cover?

Medicare Part A covers these services:

  • Inpatient care in a hospital
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long-term care)
  • Hospice care
  • Home health care

Of course, services vary within those categories. Individuals should research specific care needs before assuming Medicare will pay for them. Doctors or health care providers are a good resource to ask, and Medicare allows you to look up coverage for specific health services.

Additionally, you can join Medicare Part B, or choose a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan to cover other healthcare expenses.

How to sign up for Medicare Part A

Most individuals will need to sign up for Medicare. Some individuals are signed up automatically if they have been receiving Social Security benefits for four months or more before their 65th birthday. It is best to not assume you will be automatically signed up for Medicare.

Individuals who are not already receiving Social Security benefits sign up for Medicare Part A with the Social Security Administration. Individuals can sign up:

  • Online
  • By phone: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778)
  • In person at a local Social Security office

Each individual has a seven-month Initial Enrollment Period during which to sign up. It begins three months before the individual’s 65th birthday, includes the birthday month, and continues for three months after the 65th birthday. There can be fees for not signing up during this initial enrollment period.

Learn More

To learn more about Medicare and Turning 65, click here.

For assistance with Medicare, you can contact Medicare.gov or the Social Security Administration.

For information regarding Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plans, our licensed agents can help you compare plans in your area. We’re open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 7 pm ET at 1-800-991-4407 / TTY 711.