UNITED STATES—Hi Toni, I am turning 65 in March 2023, and I was surprised when Social Security told me to go online to sign up. There is not a local Social Security office open that can help me with the online application process. 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? I am working part-time and do not have employer benefits. I desperately need to start Medicare benefits in March. Carla from Arizona.

Carla: With budget problems, Social Security discovered how much payroll could be saved by America enrolling online.  When you file online your Medicare cards will be issued when turning 65 and are not receiving a Social Security check.

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

Chapter 1 of my Medicare Survival Guide Advanced edition explains ways to enroll in Medicare. 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 time to enroll is 3 months prior to turning 65, by visiting Social Security at www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare to enroll online 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”:

  • Have your username and password to begin enrolling in the Medicare 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.
  • Register yourself and your spouse for a “My Social Security Account” months before applying for Medicare to be ready to apply when turning 65.
  • Visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount to open a “My Social Security Account.”

Let’s discuss how to apply online and problems the Toni Says® Medicare office is discovering when helping others apply for Medicare online when turning 65.

With the Pandemic closing local Social Security offices, now one must call your local Social Security 800-number or 1-800-772-1213 and inform the Social Security agent if you are not able to open a “My Social Security Account” and are locked out.

Information on the 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 Benefit Verification Letter in 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.

For a Medicare checkup, email info@tonisays.com or call 832-519-8664 to have your Medicare question answered. Medicare Survival Guide Advanced edition is available at www.tonisays.com.

Visit www.seniorresource.com/medicare-moments to listen to Toni’s Medicare Moments podcast and get other information for boomer/seniors.