If you’re approaching Medicare eligibility, getting your first Medicare card is as easy as ensuring you’re on track to receive Medicare.
Most Americans become eligible for Medicare at age 65, and sign up for Medicare during their Initial Enrollment Period.
Your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65. If you enroll during the first three months of your Initial Enrollment Period, your coverage should begin the first day of your birthday month. If your birthday falls on the first of the month, coverage should begin on the first of the previous month.
If you follow the normal enrollment procedure during your Initial Enrollment Period, you should receive your first Medicare card in the mail within about 30 days.
What if I’m already receiving Social Security benefits when I turn 65?
If you’re already receiving Social Security checks before you turn 65, getting your first Medicare card is even easier. Since the Social Security Administration is involved in determining who is eligible for Medicare, and since you’re already getting Social Security benefits, the Social Security Administration knows exactly when you’re eligible for Medicare—and you can expect to get your new Medicare card in the mail about three months before your 65th birthday.
If you’re receiving Social Security Disability benefits over a long term, you can expect the same courtesy. Normally, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare after two years of receiving disability benefits, and can expect to receive your Medicare card in the mail about three months before your Medicare coverage begins.
No doubt, you’ve noticed a trend here.
Regardless of your situation, you can expect to receive your Medicare card in the mail. For this reason, you should double check the address you provide when you sign up for Medicare, and always keep the Social Security Administration and the Medicare Administration informed of any changes in your address.
Your new Social Security card will indicate that you are enrolled in Original Medicare Part A and/or Part B. If you enroll in a Medicare supplement plan, Medicare Advantage plan, or Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company administering your plan will issue a separate card or document.
If you experience delays or problems getting your Medicare card, calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-63342273) is probably the easiest solution.
Do you have any further advice for people expecting their first Medicare card? Leave a comment below!
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