There are some steps you can take before your 65th birthday to prepare for Medicare. These items are listed below in the 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 (for example, general Medicare information, ordering Medicare booklets, information about health plans, and learning if you qualify for financial assistance).
3 months before your 65th birthday:
- You are now eligible to 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: 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 1-877-774-8592 (TTY: 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.
After you turn 65:
- If you are over 65 years old, you are already eligible to enroll in Medicare.