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Does Social Security Automatically Send You a Medicare Card When You Turn 65?

Understanding the Process

What Happens When You Turn 65?

As you get closer to turning 65 and considering enrolling into Medicare, it’s completely understandable to have questions about how to sign up. Frequently we are asked if whether you’ll be automatically enrolled and if Social Security will automatically send you a Medicare card before you turn 65. Read more to learn what you should expect when it comes to enrolling in Medicare Part A and Part B.

The Medicare Enrollment Process

Medicare is generally thought to be a health insurance program primarily for people aged 65 and older, but there are instances when people under 65 may be enrolled into Medicare. The Medicare Enrollment process is confusing since some people are automatically enrolled into Original Medicare and many are not, depending on their individual circumstances.

When to Enroll in Medicare

To ensure your get your Medicare benefits when you need them, it’s important to know the different enrollment periods and whether they apply to you. The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) starts three months before your 65th birthday month and continues for three months after. During this time you are eligible for Medicare and can sign up for Medicare Parts A and B. Missing this window may result in late enrollment penalties and delayed Medicare coverage. If you are under the age of 65, but are receiving Social Security Disability Benefits for 24 Months, you may be eligible to enroll in Medicare in the 25th month of your disability benefits.

Social Security Disability Benefits Matter

What If You’re Already Receiving Social Security Benefits?

If you are receiving benefits in the months before you turn 65, you will be enrolled into Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B automatically. You can expect to receive your Medicare card in the mail about three months prior to your 65th birthday. The card will provide details about the coverage and benefits you are entitled to.

What If You Are Not Receiving Social Security Benefits?

If you are not receiving benefits when you turn 65, you will not be automatically enrolled into Medicare and will need sign up yourself. If you need to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B, there are a few different ways to do this.

How to Enroll in Medicare

Enrolling in Medicare is a simple process and offers several options:

  1. Online Enrollment: You can visit the Social Security website or the Medicare website to complete your enrollment on their sites. You’ll need to create a free account to sign up for Medicare.
  2. Phone Enrollment: Another option is to call Social Security at their toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), where a representative can help you through the enrollment process.
  3. In-Person Enrollment: If you prefer a face-to-face interaction, you can visit your local Social Security office to enroll in person. Ensure you check their operating hours and bring the necessary information.

What If You Delayed Social Security Benefits?

In the event that you didn’t sign up and have chosen to delay your Social Security retirement benefits beyond the age of 65, you will still need to take the initiative to enroll in Medicare during the Initial Enrollment Period mentioned earlier.


To summarize, it is important to note that Social Security does not always automatically send you a Medicare card when you turn 65. It is your responsibility to proactively enroll in Medicare during the appropriate enrollment period.

If you have further questions or need assistance with the Medicare enrollment process, give us a call. We are here to help!

Remember, understanding and taking control of your Medicare benefits will empower you to make informed decisions regarding your healthcare options as you enjoy your retirement years.

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