There are some steps you can take before your 65th birthday to prepare for Medicare. The items below are listed in order of when you can take care of them.
7 to 9 months before your 65th birthday:
- Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213, TTY: 1-800-325-0778, or visit www.ssa.gov to confirm your eligibility for Medicare benefits.
- Review your current health insurance coverage to find out what happens after you become eligible for Medicare. If you are working, contact your Human Resources department.
4 to 6 months before your 65th birthday:
- Check with your current doctors to see if they accept Medicare.
- Learn about and research Medicare coverage options in your area (general Medicare information, ordering Medicare booklets, information about health plans, learning if you qualify for financial assistance).
3 months before your 65th birthday:
- Enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you haven’t received your automatic enrollment packet in the mail, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213, TTY/TDD: 1-800-325-0778, or visit www.ssa.gov.
- Select your Medicare coverage option. Learn about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ options or speak to a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Medicare sales representative at 1-877-213-1821, TTY/TDD: 711. We’re open 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., local time, 7 days a week. If you are calling from April 1 through September 30, alternate technologies (for example, voicemail) will be used on weekends and holidays.