UNITED STATES—Hi Toni: I am turning 65 in March 2021 and I was surprised when Social Security told me to go online to sign up. Due to COVID-19, there is not a local Social Security office open that can help me if I have a problem with the online application. The Social Security rep suggested that I need a “My Social Security Account” to begin the process.

I am concerned that if I go online, I will have to begin receiving my Social Security check. I do not want to not begin my Social Security check until I am 70.

Can you please explain in simple terms where to go online, so that I can enroll in Medicare the right way? Thanks in advance, Carla from Arizona.

Carla: With budget problems, Social Security discovered how much payroll or should I say “our” tax dollars could be saved by finally going online to have people file for their Medicare cards when they were turning 65 and not receiving their Social Security check.

Unless you are receiving your Social Security check at least 90 days prior to turning 65, then Medicare has no idea that you are turning 65 and should be receiving your Medicare card with Parts A and/or B because Social Security doesn’t know that you are turning 65.

Social Security processes all Medicare applications for Medicare. Medicare does not enroll their own applications.

Carla, you mentioned that you are not receiving your Social Security check, not working full time with true company benefits and that Social Security advised you to enroll online. The best timeline is 90 days prior to turning 65 to the month prior to your 65th birthday and you should visit www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare to enroll for Medicare to begin the 1st day of the month you turn 65.

When you begin the process of enrolling in Medicare, Social Security will ask if you have a have a “My Social Security Account.”

If you do have a “My Social Security Account:”

  • Please have your username and password to begin enrolling in Medicare Parts A and/or B application.

If you do not have a “My Social Security Account”:

  • Carla starting a “My Social Security Account” does not begin your Social Security check.
  • Please register yourself and your spouse for a “My Social Security Account” months before applying for Medicare so that you are ready to apply when turning 65.
  • Visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount to open up a personal “My Social Security Account”.

Let’s discuss how to apply online and a few of the problems we are discovering when helping others apply for Medicare online when turning 65.

With COVID-19 closing local Social Security offices, now one must call your local Social Security 800 number and inform the Social Security agent that you are not able to open a “My Social Security Account” and are locked out.  Ask for help.

Information on application to apply for Medicare is below:

1)       Begin with your information:  Name, Social Security number, Gender and Date of Birth

2)       Contact information with address, phone number, email address

3)       Citizen information regarding you

4)       Questions about your health benefits

5)       Then submit your application online and view your receipt which explains what additional information may be needed such as marriage license when you are short of 40 quarters and applying under your spouse’s Medicare benefits or must mail your citizenship papers.

6)       View your “My Social Security Account” for your Medicare number and Part A and/or B dates or wait for your new Medicare Card to arrive in the mail.

Toni King, author of the Medicare Survival Guide® is giving a $5 discount on the Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced book. Email Medicare questions to info@tonisays.com or call 832-519-8664.