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Social Security News

Baby Boomers: apply online for Medicare

By: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

This January marks a historic moment: our Nation’s first baby boomers are turning 65.
For many baby boomers, it is time to hit the computer.  Even if you have decided to wait until after you are age 65 to apply for retirement benefits, most people should start getting Medicare coverage at age 65.
If you would like to begin your Medicare coverage when you first become eligible, it’s important that you apply within three months of reaching age 65. Don’t worry about the time and effort it will take to apply for Medicare — it’s fast and easy! You can do it online at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly in as little as 10 minutes.
Why apply online for Medicare? Because it’s fast, easy, and secure. You don’t need an appointment and you can avoid waiting in traffic or in line.  As long as you have ten minutes to spare, you have time to complete and submit your online Medicare application.
People who started receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits before age 65 do not need to apply; they will be automatically enrolled in Medicare.
To learn more about Medicare benefits, visit www.Medicare.gov.
To learn more about Medicare and the online application, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly.  While you’re there, take a look at the Patty Duke Show reunion video as they talk about turkey, pie, and Medicare online.
Happy birthday to all the baby boomers turning 65 in 2011!
Vonda VanTil is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 50 College SE, Grand Rapids MI 49503 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov

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2 Responses to “Social Security News”

  1. cindy brown says:

    I am looking for an answer from social security that I have not been able to find. Why does a widow have to wait until they are 60 to even apply for their husbands benefits? My husband passed away 3 years ago and I have another 5&1/2 years before I can even consider it unless I am disabled. I have asked and looked on the website but found nothing. Can you tell me? thank you

  2. Administrator says:

    Cindy, I emailed Vonda VanTil, the public affairs specialist at Social Security with your question. Here is her response, and thanks for reading the Post!
    From Vonda Vantil:
    In regards to your question on why the minimum age for a widow(er) is 60, (unless disabled which is 50).
    Benefits are provided for widow(er)s at age 60 because Congress recognized that when someone becomes widowed in their late 50’s, early 60’s, they are often denied employment because of their age. However, if one becomes a widow earlier, it is assumed that they will be able to qualify for suitable employment. For those that don’t qualify for employment because of a disability, they can collect as early as age 50.

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