How to Enroll in Medicare

Medicare enrollment could be automatic for some people, while for others, it generally depends on when they turn 65 or how they become eligible for Medicare. Provided you are eligible, you can enroll for Medicare through a number of ways. First, you can enroll online at or by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. 

At Medigap Supplement Headquarters, we can also help you determine your eligibility, as well as help you through the enrollment process.

Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board

You can register for Medicare in-person by visiting your local Social Security office. You can also enroll by contacting the Railroad Retirement Board to speak to a representative who will help you register for Medicare. There are some situations where you may be enrolled for Medicare automatically. For example, if you receive Railroad Retirement Board benefits or Social Security benefits, you will be enrolled for Medicare automatically when you turn 65. 


If you already receive disability benefits when under 65, either from the Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security, you will be enrolled in Original Medicare automatically once you have received disability benefits for more than 24 months. People who have ALS will be automatically enrolled for Original Medicare the same month they start to receive disability benefits. 

Manual Enrollment

However, Medicare enrollment is not automatic for some people. This means that if you fall in this category, you will need to manually enroll as soon as you become eligible to avoid paying the late enrollment penalty. You can enroll for Medicare during the Initial Enrollment Period. The Initial Enrollment Period starts three months before you turn 65 and lasts until three months after you turn 65. You can enroll for Medicare during the Initial Enrollment Period if you are not receiving retirement benefits and are close to turning 65 or you have turned 65. 

If you do not qualify for retirement benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security, you will not be automatically enrolled and will need to enroll for Part A and Part B during the Initial Enrollment Period. You can also enroll for Medicare during the General Enrollment Period if you failed to register when you were first eligible. However, you will pay a late enrollment penalty for Original Medicare. 

Special Enrollment Period

Under some special circumstances, you may be eligible to enroll for Medicare during the Special Enrollment Period. If you are still working and you have employer health insurance or you are covered under your spouse’s health insurance, you can delay Medicare enrollment without facing the late enrollment penalty.

Understanding the requirements to be eligible for Medicare and how to enroll can be a complicated process. However, at Medigap Supplement Headquarters, we can simplify the process. Give us a call today if you have any questions about enrolling in Medicare.