You are eligible for Medicare the first of the month in which you turn 65, unless your birthday is the 1st of the month, in which case you are eligible for Medicare the first of the prior month.

So, for example, if your birthday is December 25th, you are eligible for Medicare on the 1st of December.

Or, if your birthday is December 1st, you are eligible for Medicare the 1st of November.

If you are already collecting Social Security, you will be automatically enrolled in both Parts A and B, and your Medicare card will be sent two to three months prior to the effective date. There is nothing you need to do unless you are still working or otherwise enrolled in a group insurance plan that is primary. In that case, you would already be covered under the group and you can defer enrollment in a Part B plan until you or your spouse retires.

If you are not collecting Social Security, you will need to initiate enrollment into Part A and/or Part B of Medicare.

There are three ways to do this.

1. You can enroll online at ssa.gov. Click on Sign up for Medicare under APPLY in middle of page. They will prompt you to enroll through a mysocialsecurity account.

2. Call Social Security at (800) 772-1213. Be sure to listen for the prompt about receiving a call-back so you won’t have to wait on the line.

3. Go to your local Social Security office to enroll in person. The local Social Security office in San Luis Obispo is located at 3240 South Higuera, near the DMV (for a map, click here). Their phone number is (855) 207-4865.

Plan on enrolling three months ahead of your eligibility, if possible. If not, call the SSA as soon as you can.

You can enroll you in a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Plan up to 3 months prior to your Medicare effective date. Once you get your Medicare card, give us a call or schedule an appointment for help with a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan.

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