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 SSA.gov/medicare-partb-sep 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 SSA.gov/coronavirus.
  2. Print and sign the forms.
  3. Send the forms (and evidence, if your employer can’t complete Section B) to the Social Security Administration. You can send it one of these ways:
    • Mail to your local Social Security office (you can find your local Social Security office by using the zip code lookup tool at https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp)
    • Fax at 1-833-914-2016
      Social Security offices are currently closed to the public for in-person 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.