Apply for Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A is inpatient coverage for those eligible. Part A is the insurance that pays for your hospital care, including skilled nursing care services. Unlike other parts of Medicare, Part A is free for many individuals who qualify. With some guidance, signing up for Part A is simple.

Can I Apply for Medicare Part A Only?

It’s advantageous to sign up for both Parts A and B as soon as you’re eligible. However, many people take Part A because it’s free for them but delay Part B coverage due to other medical insurance through their employer or spouse.

As people on Social Security automatically enroll in Medicare when eligible, those who only want Part A need to complete form CMS-1763. On this form, they must check off the box to request termination of medical insurance (Part B) and mail or fax the form to their local Social Security office.

Those who aren’t yet receiving Social Security benefits will need to enroll in Medicare through the Social Security Administration. There are a few options for how to do this, described below. When you become eligible, it makes sense to take at least Part A, especially if you have all the tax credits you need to get this coverage premium-free.

In the meantime, not having coverage that Medicare considers creditable for Part B results in a penalty on top of your monthly premium. The most common example of creditable coverage is group health insurance through an employer with at least 20 employees.

Can I Apply for Medicare Part B Online If I Already Have Part A?

If or when you decide to enroll in Part B coverage, you’ll have to do so through the Social Security Administration, which provides an online option. However, you’ll also need to complete form CMS-40B, which is the Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance).

The opportunity for this is the General Enrollment Period each year, which lasts from January 1 through March 31. Additionally, you can enroll in Part B only without penalties if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Medicare allows Special Enrollment Periods due to certain beneficiary life events. For example, if a beneficiary loses the employer group coverage from their time of eligibility when they decided to delay Part B.

Those who recently lost group health coverage through an employer or spouse must complete an additional form – CMS-L564, Request for Employment Information. The employer must complete Section B of this form as proof that you received coverage under their group health plan. These forms are available online. Once you complete the forms, you must mail or fax them to your local Social Security field office.

Part A Hospital Coverage

How do i enroll in medicare part A online?

Those eligible for Medicare can sign up for Part A inpatient insurance on the SSA website. The first step is to sign up for a My SSA account.

How To Apply for Medicare Part A?

Medicare Part A, along with Part B, is half of Original Medicare. Both parts are national health insurance for which you must sign up through the Social Security Administration. If you receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits a minimum of four months prior to Medicare eligibility, you’ll automatically enroll. The SSA provides multiple enrollment methods for those who don’t qualify for auto-enrollment.

  1. Online: The process to apply online is the same for Medicare Parts A and B and takes roughly 10 minutes. Visit SSA.gov and click the Medicare link on their homepage. You’ll need to sign up for a My SSA account first. You can then log in to check on your application status.
  2. Over the Phone: If you wish to enroll via telephone, call the SSA’s toll-free number (1-800-772-1213).
  3. In Person: To find a Social Security office near you, use the locator on the SSA website.

Learn About the
Four Parts of Medicare

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care.

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Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B covers outpatient services.

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Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C is Medicare Advantage.

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Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs.

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