Individuals who have enrolled into Social Security before age 65 will automatically be enrolled into Medicare Parts A and B. Eligibility for full Social Security benefits begins at age 66. Individuals should expect to receive their Medicare card 3 months prior to their 65th birthday.
What Medicare Part A and Part B Covers
Part A will provide coverage for hospitalization without any premiums. Part B typically covers other services such as outpatient care, which includes doctor's visits, x-rays and tests. Cost for Part B is $134/month for individuals enrolled on or before 2017. This premium could be higher for individuals who earn more.
Enrolling in Medicare
All retired individuals are required to enroll into Medicare and may face a lifetime late enrollment penalty if they do not do so. The exception to this rule is for individuals continuing to work and maintain employer health insurance coverage - see below.
Head to www.socialsecurity.gov for more information and guidelines as to when you can enroll. Your initial enrollment period is three months before and three months following your 65th birthday. This also applies for individuals waiting to file for their Social Security benefits.