There are a few different ways to enroll in Medicare. Sometimes the enrollment process is automatic, but in other cases you may need to contact Social Security to apply. To make things even more confusing, some people are able to delay part of their Medicare enrollment if they’re still working. This process can feel overwhelming, which is why our Medicare Advisors help people through Medicare enrollment every day. 

In this article, we’ll share what parts of Medicare you can be automatically enrolled in. We’ll also explain a few different scenarios to help you understand how and when you should enroll. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 855-900-2427. We’re here to help, and our Medicare support is always free.

Key takeaways:

  • You are automatically enrolled in Medicare if you are drawing from Social Security and you retire or you qualify for insurance through a disability. 

  • You’ll know that you have Medicare when you receive a Medicare card in the mail.

  • You can always check your enrollment status by checking your Medicare account or Social Security account online or calling the Social Security Administration. 

Who qualifies for Medicare? 

Before we get into how you’ll know if you have Medicare, it’s helpful to know who is eligible for Medicare and some background information about the health insurance program. You are eligible for Medicare if you’re an American citizen and meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are 65 and older.

  • You have been diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Other medical conditions may also qualify you for Medicare.

Parts of Original Medicare

When you first sign up for Medicare, you enroll in Original Medicare. There are two parts that make up Original Medicare—Part A and Part B. Below are brief explanations of the services each part covers. 

Part A

Medicare commonly refers to Part A as your inpatient or hospital insurance. Part A includes coverage for:

  • Inpatient services in a hospital

  • Services in critical access hospitals

  • Short-term skilled nursing facilities

  • Home health care

  • Hospice care

Part B

Medicare commonly refers to Part B as your outpatient insurance. Part B helps cover preventative services and medically necessary services. This includes:

  • Health screenings to diagnose a condition

  • Medical devices like walkers or insulin pumps

  • Surgery 

  • Visits to the doctor

  • Ambulance transportation

  • Rehabilitation therapy

  • Mental health services

  • Outpatient treatment for certain health conditions

  • Some vaccines 

How do you know if you have Medicare?

If you’re eligible to enroll in Medicare because of your age, when and how you enroll in Medicare will depend on your situation. We’ll break down each circumstance for you and explain how you can know if you are enrolled in Medicare.

Scenario 1: You’re 65, you don’t have insurance through an employer, and you’re not drawing from Social Security yet

You can enroll in Original Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period. The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is a seven-month window of time that begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birth month, and extends for three months after your 65th birthday. For example, if your birthday is in May, your Initial Enrollment Period would be between February and August.

In this situation, you’ll know that you have Medicare because you will directly sign up for coverage.

Scenario 2: You’re 65, you don’t have insurance through an employer, and you are drawing from Social Security 

The Social Security Administration will automatically enroll you in Original Medicare. In this situation, you’ll know that you have Medicare when you receive your Medicare card in the mail. You may receive your Medicare card up to three months before you turn 65. Keep in mind that you don’t have to accept Original Medicare. You have the option of choosing private insurance or a Medicare Advantage plan. Learn about disenrolling from Medicare here.

Scenario 3: You’re still working,

You may be eligible for the Part B Special Enrollment Period. Even if you are eligible to delay Part B enrollment, in many cases, Medicare is the better and cheaper option when compared to employer coverage. We can help you compare your health insurance options and select the best option for your health and financial situation. 

In this situation, you’ll know you’re enrolled in Part A when you receive a Medicare card with your Part A effective date. If you delay Part B enrollment, when you do sign up for Part B, you’ll receive a new Medicare Card with both Part A and Part B coverage details. 

How do you know if you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare?

If you are drawing from Social Security—either because you were diagnosed with a disability or because you’ve retired—you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you become eligible. You’ll know you’re enrolled when you receive your Medicare card in the mail. Your card will identify your coverage effective dates.

How to check on your Medicare status

Because of all the different situations to keep track of, knowing whether or not you have Medicare isn’t always straightforward. To view the status of your Medicare coverage, you can:

Knowing if you have Medicare is important because it can help you avoid penalties. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the Medicare enrollment process, you’re not alone! Our licensed Medicare Advisors can help you understand the process, check your enrollment status, and enroll in additional coverage.  Give us a call at 855-900-2427 or schedule a time to talk to get free, personalized Medicare guidance.

Get Medicare, Maximized