By Gary Smith

This is the first confusing issue seniors encounter when it comes to the “maze of Medicare.”  Of course, common sense would tell you to call Medicare to sign up for Medicare, right?

Well, that would get you a big, “NO, wrong answer!” Thank you for playing!!!

So, who do you call to sign up for Medicare? The answer is:  Your local Social Security Office.

You must call or go see your local Social Security Office to sign up for Medicare.  If you have an online account with Social Security, you can log into your account and sign up online at SSA.gov.  If you don’t have an account, you can register by searching “My Social Security” and click on the “create an account” link.

Some people ask: “Do you get your Medicare Card automatically?”  This is a tricky one, so pay close attention.

You only get your Medicare Card automatically IF (and that is the keyword, “IF”) you are currently receiving your Social Security Check.  Signing up for your check and receiving a check are two different things.  So, if you are currently getting a Social Security Check, you will get your Red, White, and Blue Medicare Card 90 days before your birth month.

Don’t throw your Medicare Card in the garbage!  This is a common problem because of the amount of junk mail you are receiving.  So, 90 days before your birth month, be on the lookout for your Medicare Card. For privacy concerns, the Government uses a very generic envelope, so it won’t be stolen.  Therefore, many seniors end up throwing the Medicare card envelope in the garbage by mistake.  If you do, don’t panic, simply call the Social Security Office, and order a new card.

Remember at Gary Smith Agency, “We Put the CARE in Medicare” so, we welcome your calls and questions. Call 833-777-GARY (4279)