What is Medicare?Medicare is a health insurance program provided by the federal government. Medicare is for people who are age 65 or older, with some exceptions. Explore your options to find out what is right for you.
Should you enroll?
You can enroll in Medicare during your initial enrollment period, which is three months before your 65th birthday, your birthday month and three months after. If you are under age 65, you may be able to enroll if you have a qualifying event. Learn more about enrollment and qualifying events. And, find out what to do if you have insurance coverage from an employer.
Eligibility and timing
You can enroll in Medicare during different time periods, including initial enrollment, annual enrollment and special enrollment.
How to enroll
If you have not applied for Social Security benefits, you will need to contact Social Security to sign up for Medicare. If you have applied for, or are already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you will receive a Medicare card and packet in the mail three months before your 65th birthday. Find out how to enroll and how to change plans.
Last updated Oct. 1, 2021