Applying for Original Medicare in California works the same in every state. To qualify for Medicare, you must be either a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years. You can visit your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office, register online, or do so over the phone.
- Visit the Social Security website.
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, 7AM to 7PM.
- Apply in person at a Social Security office. To look up the closest location to you, visit SSA.gov.
- If you worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772 (TTY users call 312-751-4701), Monday through Friday, 9AM to 3:30PM.
Some residents can be enrolled automatically at age 65 provided they already receive retirement benefits through Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Disabled residents can qualify for Medicare at any age if they receive Social Security disability benefits, or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, for 24 consecutive months. People who have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are automatically enrolled in the first month of disability benefits. Those who qualify for Medicare because of end-stage renal disease must apply manually.
If you aren’t receiving retirement yet when you turn 65, you’ll have to enroll manually in Medicare. You’re generally first eligible to enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period, the seven-month period that starts three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months later.
If you receive Medicare benefits through Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, you may still wish to consider additional coverage. When looking to enroll in a Medigap, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part D plan, you may apply by contacting the plan directly, or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may also get help finding plan options through an insurance broker, such as US Medicare Brokers.
As an American Citizen, it’s important to understand your Medicare options. We have a lot of experience explaining the various choices; we can discuss your particular situation with you and help you find suitable coverage options. Anytime you like, you can click on the Compare Plans button on this page. But if you’d like to talk to a real human being, just call us and a licensed insurance agent would be glad to help you with your needs.
Call US Medicare Brokers licensed insurance agents at 1-888-408-6913, Monday through Friday, 9:30AM to 7:30PM ET.