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Original Medicare Enrollment: How to Find a Local Social Security Office

4 mins read
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Medicare is a federal health insurance program that caters primarily to individuals aged 65 years or older. Those under 65 with specific disabilities like permanent kidney failure or Lou Gehrig’s disease may also qualify for Medicare coverage. 

The Social Security Administration manages enrollment in Original Medicare. It has two main parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. Part B covers doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.

Many Medicare-eligible adults wonder how to enroll in Medicare at a SSA office. Is it done online or in person? 

Some seniors might prefer the convenience of online enrollment, while others may opt for an in-person visit for thorough information before applying. If you want to know, ‘Is there a social security office near me?’, this guide will help you. 

Where Can I Go to Apply for Original Medicare?

If you’re eligible for Medicare, you can apply for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) online, by phone, or in person at your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office. Applying online is often the quickest option. Once you have Original Medicare coverage, you can enroll in additional Medicare coverage online.

Enrolling on time is crucial to avoid gaps or late enrollment penalties. Your initial enrollment period (IEP) typically starts three months before your 65th birthday, includes that month, and lasts for three months thereafter. 

If you miss your IEP, you can sign up during the Medicare general enrollment period (GEP), which runs from January 1 to March 31 each year.

Enroll at SSA

The SSA has local offices where you can meet with a representative for Medicare enrollment assistance. The two most common questions in this context are, ‘Are social security offices open for walk-ins?’ and ‘When will social security offices open for walk-ins?’

While many SSA offices closed during the pandemic, most are now open for appointments and walk-ins. Check the SSA website for office locations and hours.

If you are looking for ‘social security offices near me’, utilize the SSA office locator tool. Simply enter your zip code to find the closest office, including its address, phone number, fax number, and hours of operation. The tool also provides a map and directions to help you navigate to the office.

If you don’t have a local Social Security office nearby, you can contact SSA customer service online or by phone- at 1-800-772-1213

Online Enrollment

Applying for Medicare online is a convenient option that usually takes just 10 to 30 minutes to complete. 

You can start and stop the application midway, if necessary, and return to it at your convenience. After submission, you’ll receive an application number to track your enrollment status. Apply for Part A and Part B coverage through the SSA website.

If I Already Get Social Security Benefits, Do I Still Need to Sign Up for Medicare?

If you already receive Social Security benefits, you do not need to separately sign up for Medicare. The SSA will automatically enroll you in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) when you become eligible, which generally happens at age 65. SSA will send you information about your Medicare coverage a few months before you turn 65.

While Part A is usually premium-free for most people, you may need to pay a premium for Part B. If you decide to delay Part B enrollment because you have other health coverage, such as through an employer, you can do so. 

If you choose to enroll in Part B later, however, your coverage may be delayed and you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B coverage.

Social Security beneficiaries can typically rely on their monthly Social Security payments for automatic deductions for Medicare Part B premiums. This integration helps you manage recurring healthcare expenses more efficiently.

Some people also choose Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage plans, which can provide additional services like dental or vision care. While these plans have an extra cost, you can often manage this expense with your monthly income from Social Security.

If you choose to wait past age 65 to take your Social Security benefits, you will need to actively apply for Medicare through the SSA once you’re ready to get Medicare coverage. This coordination between Social Security and Medicare is important to ensure you have the healthcare coverage you need as you age.

For those under 65 who are receiving Social Security disability benefits, Medicare eligibility begins after two years of disability status. This overlap between the two programs ensures younger individuals dealing with chronic health issues receive both the financial and healthcare support they need.


It’s also worth noting that if you’ve worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 10 years, you’re generally eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A. This is how your financial contribution to Social Security benefits your healthcare coverage in retirement.

Navigating the interaction between Medicare and Social Security can be complex, but CoverRight is here to simplify the process for you. We assess your needs, research the best coverage options, and assist you with the enrollment process. 

Call us to get assistance with navigating Medicare today.

FAQs

Can Social Security help me sign up for Medicare Advantage or Medigap?

Social Security offices do not offer assistance with enrolling in Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plans. Private companies manage these plans and the federal government approves them. The costs and coverage options vary between providers. To enroll in Medicare Advantage or Medigap plans, you’ll need to contact private insurance companies directly. You can use CoverRight’s tool to find and compare Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans.

Can I sign up for Medicaid at a Social Security center (or via SSA.gov)?

No, you cannot sign up for Medicaid at a SSA office or through the SSA website. Medicaid is a separate program that the state governments manage. To apply for Medicaid, you can either contact your state’s Medicaid agency or complete an application through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

What are Social Security Offices’ hours?

The typical office hours for Social Security offices are:

  • Monday to Friday: 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
  • Saturday: 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Federal Holidays: Same hours as the day the holiday occurs

Please note that these hours may vary by location. To find the hours of operation for a specific office, use the SSA office locator tool and select the office you’re interested

Connor Wilson

Connor is a Content Writer at CoverRight focused on editing and publishing Medicare and health insurance-related information. He also serves the team as a Business Operations Lead, working to expand the business and enhance its strategy. Prior to joining CoverRight, Connor was able to hone his knowledge of the financial services industry through his work in investment banking. Additionally, he is a self-published author of a mystery novel.

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