Press Release             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paul Precht
Director of Policy and Communications
202-637-0961

March 23, 2010

Social Security Administration Unveils New Online Medicare Application

-- People Who Want to Enroll in Medicare But Want to Delay Filing for Social Security Benefits Can Now Apply Online --

New York, NY—The Social Security Administration has just launched a new service that will allow more people to enroll online for their Medicare benefits. The new online application can now be used by people who want to enroll in Medicare but want to delay filing for Social Security benefits.

“This new online Medicare application will make it easier for more people to enroll in Medicare,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center. “It saves them a trip to the Social Security office, and they can complete the application at home, at their own pace.”

The application guides people through a brief set of questions that will help them consider either filing for Social Security AND Medicare benefits, or filing only for Medicare. There are links to more information for people who have questions.

Baker notes that the Medicare Rights Center has seen an increase in the number of cases involving people who did not enroll in Medicare when they should have. “The Medicare Rights Center is working with both the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid to ensure that people get the information they need to make an informed decision about when to enroll in Medicare,” said Baker. “This new online application is a very important step.”

For answers to questions about whether or not you should enroll in Medicare, visit Medicare Interactive, a free, web-based counseling tool. It can guide you through such questions as “I am turning 65 and do not receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits. When can I enroll in Medicare?” and “Should I enroll in Medicare if I have health insurance from my (or my spouse's) current employer?”

To use the new online application, go to www.socialsecurity.gov, and select “Retirement/Medicare.”

The Medicare Rights Center is available to help people who have questions about enrolling in Medicare. Visit Medicare Interactive, a free online educational resource, at www.medicareinteractive.org. People who prefer to speak with a counselor can do so by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-800-333-4114. Counselors are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Eastern Time).

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

 

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