Signing up for Part B if you are disabled

If you're under 65 and have a disability, you're automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B after you get Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits for 24 months. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you about 3 months before your 25th month of disability benefits. If you don't want Part B, follow the instructions that come with the card.  

If you're under 65 and have ALS, you get your Medicare benefits the first month you get disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.  For more information about disability benefits, contact Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.  

If you're still getting disability benefits when you turn 65, you won't have to apply for Part B. Medicare will enroll you in Part B automatically. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you about 3 months before your 65th birthday. If you don't want Part B, follow the instructions that come with the card.  

If you're not getting disability benefits and Medicare when you turn 65, contact Social Security to sign up for Medicare.

You should get the "Initial Enrollment Package" that includes your Medicare card about 3 months before your 65th birthday. If you don't want Part B, follow the instructions that come with the card. If you're covered under your working spouse's (or family member's) employer large group health plan (the employer has at least 100 employees), you may want to delay enrolling in Part B.    

A family member includes domestic (or life) partner, as long as you have large group health plan coverage through your partner’s current employer. 

Yes. You can keep your Medicare coverage for as long as you’re medically disabled. If you return to work, you won't have to pay your Part A premium for the first 8 ½ years. After that, you’ll have to pay the Part A premium.  

If you can't afford the Part A premium, you may be able to get help from your state. You may be eligible for the Medicare Savings Program called Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program (QDWI).

Get more information about Medicare coverage for working people with disabilities.

If you have a disability, have Part A, and have current employer or union group health coverage, you can sign up for Part B during the Special Enrollment Period.  

This period is available if you waited to enroll in Part B because you, your spouse, or family member were working and had large group health coverage through an employer or union (with at least 100 employees) based on this current employment.  

Getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) doesn't make you eligible for Medicare. SSI provides a monthly cash benefit and health insurance coverage under Medicaid.

Your spouse may qualify for Medicare the same way as if they didn't have SSI. Your spouse may qualify for Medicare when they turn 65 or have been receiving disability benefits for 24 months.  

If there are 100 employees or more in your spouse's company, you can sign up for Part B during the Special Enrollment Period without paying a penalty anytime you're still covered by an employer or union group health plan, through your or your spouse (or family member's) current employment, or during the 8 months following the month that the employer or union group health plan coverage ends, or when the employment ends (whichever is first).

If there are less than 100 employees in your spouse or family member's company, you may not be eligible to enroll during the Special Enrollment period, and you may have to wait until the General Enrollment Period to enroll in Part B. You may have to pay a 10% Part B premium surcharge (penalty) for each 12-month period that you could have had Part B but didn't take it, except in special cases. You'll have to pay this extra amount as long as you have Part B.  

When you sign up for Part B, you automatically begin your Medigap open enrollment period.