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If you want to start receiving Medicare at age 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after that birthday.

Submitted by Vonda Van Til

 Did you know that you can apply for Medicare online even if you are not ready to retire? Applying online can take less than 10 minutes. There are no forms to sign and usually no required documentation. We’ll process your application and contact you if we need more information.

 Visit ssa.gov/benefits/medicare to begin. There, you can apply for Medicare and find other important information. People are usually eligible for Medicare at age 65. If you want to start receiving Medicare at age 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after that birthday.

 Some Medicare beneficiaries may qualify for Extra Help to pay for the monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and co-payments related to the Medicare Prescription Drug program. You must be receiving Medicare, have limited resources and income, and reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia to qualify for the Extra Help. More information on Extra Help is available at ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/prescriptionhelp.

 You may also be interested in reading these publications:

• Apply Online for Medicare —

Even if You Are Not Ready to Retire

• When to Start Receiving

Retirement Benefits

 Help a friend or family member by sharing this information. It can improve the quality of their life.

 Vonda Van Til is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov.

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