This is only if you’re not taking Social Security earlier than your fully vested age. You’ll get your Medicare card automatically if you are already taking Social Security early (You can start at age 62). Your Medicare card will arrive about 3-4 months before the month of your birthday if this scenario pertains to you.
For those of you not taking Social Security early, you’ll want to start the Medicare Part A & B application process 3 months before your birthday month to make sure you’re good to go on the first day of the month that you turn 65 (unless you’re born on the 1st, then you get to go on Medicare one month early).
Once you apply for Medicare you will receive a letter in a few weeks from Social Security saying they’ve received your application and it was approved. Then a second letter arrives, and it gives you your Medicare number and that letter then tells you that you’ll be receiving your Medicare card in several weeks. This is a big milestone financially for most because of the cost of their health insurance if they are paying for it privately (group insurance can be expensive too however). Most people (who am I kidding, everyone!) can hardly wait to start saving money (At age 64 rates are over $1000 a month for health insurance coverage. Once you get your “Original Medicare” card (paper; red, white and blue with a random alpha-numeric combination and a Part A and Part B effective date on it) you have choices to make.
Medicare alone is not enough, and that’s where I come in to help you understand your Medicare options. Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement (Medi-gap) plans and Medicare Drug plans are complex and the fact that you can have my knowledge (at no cost to you) to help you decide the right choice for you at this “decision dilemma” in your life will give you peace of mind. Much of my consultation time is going through the appropriate steps of someone just getting their Medicare active, understanding what IRMAA is, how form SSA-44 can help them not overpay for their Medicare Part B and Part D. This really has nothing to do with my profession because I’m an insurance broker, not a government employee. But understanding these initial steps seem to be the most daunting for most that I meet with and I am happy to help educate them.