You don’t need to create a Medicare account to sign up. After you sign up and get your Medicare Number, you can create your secure Medicare account. You can also join a plan or buy supplemental insurance to get more coverage.

You can only sign up for Part B (or Part A if you have to pay a premium for it) at certain times. Learn about Part A & Part B sign up periods.

I want to sign up for only Part A or both Part A & Part B

Once you’re eligible to sign up for Medicare (usually 3 months before you turn 65), you have 2 options:

  1. Sign up to get only Medicare coverage.
  2. Apply to start getting benefits from Social Security (or the Railroad Retirement Board). Once you’re approved to start getting benefits, you’ll automatically get Part A coverage. You’ll choose if you want Part B coverage when you apply for benefits.

Once you sign up (or are approved for benefits), you’ll get a welcome package with your Medicare card.

When you’re ready, contact Social Security to sign up:

  • Apply online (at Social Security) – This is the easiest and fastest way to sign up and get any financial help you may need. You’ll need to create your secure my Social Security account to sign up for Medicare or apply for Social Security benefits online.
  • Call 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.
  • Contact your local Social Security office.
  • If you or your spouse worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772.
If you don’t qualify for Part A without having to pay a monthly premium, you might be able to buy Part A. To buy Part A, you must also sign up for Part B.

I have Part A & want to add Part B

Contact Social Security to sign up for Part B:

Signing up because you’re retiring or lost job-based coverage:
To qualify for a Special Enrollment Period , you’ll also need to have the employer fill out a Form CMS-L564 (Request for Employment Information).

If you live outside the U.S.: You may want to get Part B if you plan to return to the U.S. to get health care services. Get help signing up for Part B if you live in a foreign country.

Other situations

I want to sign up using a Special Enrollment Period:

Contact Social Security if you want to sign up for:

  • Part B only (and you don’t think you qualify for premium-free Part A)
  • Part A after you already have Part B

Learn how to drop Part A or Part B.

What do you want to do next?