I’m getting Social Security benefits before 65

Follow this path if you're going to get retirement or disability benefits from Social Security at least 4 months before you turn 65. You’ll automatically get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) when you turn 65. You’ll still need to make important decisions about your coverage, like whether you need to add drug coverage.

African American man with light blue shirt holding Get Ready for Medicare pamphlet

If you’re getting Social Security disability benefits, you’ll get Medicare automatically after getting disability benefits for 24 months. If you have ALS (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease) you’ll get Medicare automatically as soon as you start getting disability benefits. In both cases, follow the path on this page, but keep your timing in mind. 

Step 2: Preview your coverage options

What are my coverage options?

There are 2 main ways to get your Medicare coverage: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Explore this section to understand your options and figure out what’s best for you, before you make a decision. 

Because you’re getting Social Security benefits at least 4 months before you turn 65, you don’t need to do anything to sign up. We’ll automatically enroll you in both Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). We’ll mail you a welcome package with your Medicare card 3 months before your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage starts.  

When will I be enrolled? Answer a few questions to double-check.  

Step 3: Choose your coverage

What coverage do you want?

Original Medicare

Once you have Part A and/or Part B, you have Original Medicare. 

Most people add prescription coverage by choosing to join a Medicare drug (Part D) plan. You can also add coverage by buying a Medigap policy.

Medicare Advantage

You can choose to join a Medicare Advantage or other Medicare health plan instead of Original Medicare.