Medicare Part B eligibility
What is Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B is part of Original Medicare; enrollment in this coverage is optional. Medicare Part B covers outpatient medical services as well as some medications administered in a provider’s office.
Who’s eligible for Medicare Part B
Once an individual turns 65, if they are eligible for premium free Part A, they are eligible to enroll on Part B.
To be eligible for Part B if you are not eligible for premium free Part A, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must either be a U.S. resident and citizen or an alien who is a lawfully admitted, resident for 5 continuous years before filing for Medicare benefits.
- Be 65 years old or older.
If you are 65 and eligible – when to enroll in Part B
There is a 7 month window for anyone who is turning 65 to enroll. Beneficiaries can enroll 3 months before the month of the 65th birthday, the month of their birthday and for 3 months after your 65th birthday. There are a few different ways to get this done. Take a look below to see how to do it.
- Apply online at Social Security. Be sure to use the official Social Security site www.ssa.gov . This way is easy and quick. You can also apply for financial help form here, if you qualify.
- Make a call to Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and they will help sign you up.
- You can also go directly to your local Social Security office where they will help you submit the application.
- If either you or your spouse worked for a railroad, give the Railroad Retirement Board a call to enroll at 1-877-772-5772.
Disabled individuals under age 65 who receive Social Security benefits
Individuals with ESRD or ALS
If you are diagnosed with either ESRD (end stage renal disease) or ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), you can enroll in Medicare Part B. You do not have to be 65 to enroll with either one of these diagnoses. You can use any of the methods mentioned above to enroll in Medicare.
More information about Medicare Part B enrollment
It is important to be aware of enrollment deadlines. If you do not sign up on time, you may face a LEP (late enrollment penalty) unless you defer enrollment due to having other creditable coverage from either yours or a spouse’s employment.