What is Medicare?
Getting Medicare when you turn 65
If you are 65 and receiving Social Security retirement benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B.
- You do not need to do anything.
- You will receive a package in the mail three months before your 65th birthday with your new Medicare card and a letter explaining how Medicare works and that you have been automatically signed up for both Medicare Part A and Part B.
- If you are receiving Social Security retirement benefits, your package and card will come from Social Security.
- If you get Railroad Retirement benefits, your package and card will come from the Railroad Retirement Board.
- You will be given the option to turn down Part B.
If you are 65, but are not receiving Social Security retirement benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits, you will need to actively enroll in Medicare. To actively enroll:
You may not be collecting Social Security retirement benefits if you are still working or if you were born in 1938 or later (the retirement age is higher for people born after 1938).
Each year, Social Security will tell you if you have to pay more than the standard premium.The amount you pay can change each year depending on your income. If you have to pay a higher amount for your Part B premium and you disagree (for example, if your income goes down), call Social Security at 1-800-722-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778. If you get benefits from Railroad Retirement benefits, you should still contact Social Security because the Railroad Retirement benefits does not make income determinations.
What’s the Part B late enrollment penalty?
Hospital (Part A)
Medicare Part A covers hospital charges and most of the services you receive when you are in the hospital, but it does not cover the fees charged by doctors who participate in your care while you are in the hospital.
Medicare Part A shares some costs with you if you need to be hospitalized. The table below shows the different costs that may apply. Costs for 2020 are as follows:
Medical (Part B)
Medicare Part B covers doctor visits and most routine and emergency medical services. It also covers some preventive care, like flu shots. Medicare Part B shares some costs with you when you see the doctor or use other medical services.
The standard Part B premium in 2020 is $144.60 each month (or higher depending on income). However, most people who get Social Security benefits will pay less than this amount. The payment is deducted from your monthly check if you receive Social Security benefits. Otherwise, you need to send a monthly premium payment to Medicare. Costs for 2020 are as follows: