When you go to https://medicare.gov to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B (original Medicare), you may not realize that the first thing you will do is to create an account with the Social Security Administration . . . even if you're not planning on collecting Social Security yet. It's a little confusing, so we want to clarify the difference between your Social Security account and your Medicare account. Each serves a different, but very important, purpose.
When you go to https://medicare.gov and click on a link to sign up for Medicare, the link opens a Social Security Administration web page. This page begins the process of creating a Social Security account. The online form collects all the necessary information for your Medicare Part A application. You can also create your Social Security account by calling or visiting the Social Security Administration.
After the Social Security Administration receives your application, they review it. If they need more information or any more documents, they will contact you. Once they have all the necessary information and documents, they will process your application and mail you a decision letter.
Tip: It can take up to 30 days to process your application. If the Social Security Administration needs more information or additional documents, it can take even longer. For this reason, we recommend that you start this process well before you need your Medicare coverage.
If your application is approved, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will send you a Welcome to Medicare packet in the mail. It will include your Medicare card. You will also receive the most current version of the Medicare & You handbook and important information about your Medicare coverage choices.
Once you've signed up for Medicare and have at least Part A and optionally Part B, you can create your online Medicare account at https://www.mymedicare.gov. This account is Medicare's free, secure, online service for managing your personal information regarding Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. You can use this account to check information about your coverage, enrollment status, and Medicare claims.
Your Medicare account has a number of tools you can use to manage your personal healthcare and coverage needs. You can:
This website can be a useful tool in tracking your health information and Medicare benefits.
If this information was helpful, we have much more information in our online course, Medicare Basics to Save You Time, Money, and Frustration. This course leads you through information that will help you understand Medicare. You'll be able to more easily make decisions about which Medicare parts and plans you want to sign up for. It makes your Medicare learning experience streamlined and efficient, so you can get back to enjoying your life.
Even if you know a lot about Medicare, you'll benefit from this course. People who already signed up for Medicare tell us they wish they had access to this course before they struggled through their own research and decision making regarding Medicare.