May 26, 2020

Coronavirus & Medicare enrollment: Get the coverage you need

To help stop the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many businesses have temporarily closed. If you recently stopped working or lost your health coverage through your job (or another person’s job, like your spouse), you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance).

If you already have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), and want to enroll in Part B, you have 2 options:

Apply Online:

Visit and follow the instructions provided.

Apply by Mail or Fax by following these steps:

  1. Download and complete 2 forms (both are available in English and Spanish):
    • Application for Enrollment in Part B (CMS-40B)
    • Request for Employment Information (CMS-L564)
      • Fill out Section A, and ask your employer to complete and sign Section B.
      • If your employer can’t complete Section B, you can fill it out for them. Your employer doesn’t need to sign the form. Instead, you’ll send evidence of employment and health coverage, like health insurance cards with policy effective dates and pay stubs showing health insurance premium deductions. Get more information about evidence and filling out this form at
  2. Print both forms and sign the CMS 40B.
  3. Send the forms (and evidence, if your employer can’t complete Section B) to the Social Security Administration. You can mail or fax the forms to your local Social Security office. Visit the Social Security Office Locator to find your local Social Security office.​​​​​​

    Social Security offices have suspended face-to-face services due to COVID-19, but are able to process Medicare enrollments sent by mail or fax.

If you’re signing up for Medicare for the first time:

Apply online at Social Security. During the online application, you can choose whether you want Part B.

If you get benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, contact your local RRB office to sign up for Medicare.