Announcer: The Newman family is sitting around the family computer. They are the father, Dan, 65 years old, his wife Jean, their son Mark and daughter-in-law Beth. Dan recently became entitled to Medicare. He and his family are discussing the Medicare program and some resources on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov to help Dan understand his Medicare options.
Mark: So, Dad when did you apply for Medicare?
Dan: I didn't.
Mark: Ok, so how did you get Medicare if you didn't apply?
Jean: What your father means is, he was sent a "Welcome to Medicare" package in the mail a few months before he turned 65 and never bothered to read it, until I got after him about it.
Dan: So Beth, do you know why I didn't have to apply?
Beth: Yes, actually I do. The reason you were automatically enrolled in Medicare is because you were already receiving Social Security retirement benefits.
Announcer: Beth is correct. If you are already getting Social Security retirement or disability benefits or railroad retirement checks you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A, hospital insurance, and Part B, medical insurance, starting the first day of the month you turn 65. You will not need to do anything to enroll. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you about three months before your 65th birthday. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. If you are not already getting retirement benefits you should contact the Social Security Administration about three months before your 65th birthday to sign up for Medicare. You can sign up for Medicare, even if you do not plan to retire at age 65. Once enrolled in Medicare, you will receive a red, white, and blue Medicare card showing whether you have Part A, Part B, or both.