How Do I Check the Status of My Medicare Enrollment?

You can check the status of your Medicare enrollment online through your MyMedicare.gov account. You can also find an update through the Social Security Administration, either by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by going to a local Social Security office. Wait times can be lengthy.

Christian Simmons, writer and researcher for RetireGuide
  • Written by
    Christian Simmons

    Christian Simmons

    Financial Writer

    Christian Simmons is a writer for RetireGuide and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®). He covers Medicare and important retirement topics. Christian is a former winner of a Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest and has written professionally since 2016.

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  • Edited By
    Lamia Chowdhury
    Lamia Chowdhury, editor for RetireGuide.com

    Lamia Chowdhury

    Financial Editor

    Lamia Chowdhury is a financial content editor for RetireGuide and has over three years of marketing experience in the finance industry. She has written copy for both digital and print pieces ranging from blogs, radio scripts and search ads to billboards, brochures, mailers and more.

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  • Financially Reviewed By
    Christian Worstell
    Christian Worstell, Medicare expert

    Christian Worstell

    Medicare Expert

    Christian Worstell is a licensed health insurance agent and an established writer in the sector, with articles featured in Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and more. His work has positively impacted beneficiaries nationwide and empowers them to make strong health care decisions.

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  • Published: October 26, 2020
  • Updated: January 17, 2023
  • 15 min read time
  • This page features 12 Cited Research Articles
Fact Checked
Fact Checked

A licensed insurance professional reviewed this page for accuracy and compliance with the CMS Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidelines (MCMGs) and Medicare Advantage (MA/MAPD) and/or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) carriers’ guidelines.

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How to Cite RetireGuide.com's Article

APA Simmons, C. (2023, January 17). How Do I Check the Status of My Medicare Enrollment? RetireGuide.com. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/customer-service/status/

MLA Simmons, Christian. "How Do I Check the Status of My Medicare Enrollment?" RetireGuide.com, 17 Jan 2023, https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/customer-service/status/.

Chicago Simmons, Christian. "How Do I Check the Status of My Medicare Enrollment?" RetireGuide.com. Last modified January 17, 2023. https://www.retireguide.com/medicare/customer-service/status/.

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Key Takeaways
  • You can apply for Medicare online or by phone.
  • You can check the status of your Medicare application on your online account, by phone or by visiting your local Social Security Administration office.
  • It usually takes four to eight weeks for your Medicare application to be approved.
  • If you apply for Medicare before you turn 65, your coverage will start on the first day of your birthday month. If you apply after you turn 65, you may have to wait up to three months to receive coverage.

How To Check Your Medicare Status

After you apply for Medicare coverage, it takes about 30 to 60 days to receive a letter confirming your acceptance. This lag time means if you want to be on Medicare when you turn 65, finalize and send your paperwork at least two months before your 65th birthday.

You can check your Medicare status in person, on the phone or online by:
Ways to Check Medicare Status

For online access, you’ll need to enter your Social Security number and the confirmation number you received when you filed your application. You will need the same information if you call Medicare customer service.

The federal government automatically enrolls people who receive Social Security benefits before age 65 in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance). Beneficiaries are also automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B when they turn 65.

Otherwise, you’ll need to apply to enroll in either Part A or Part B.

Your application status will show:
  • The date the government received your application
  • Any requests for additional documents
  • The address of the Social Security office processing your application
  • Whether a decision has been made about your application

Once your application is processed, you’ll receive a letter letting you know the status of your application.

If you need help or can’t check your Medicare application status online, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. The line is open between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Enrolling in Medicare benefits on time is important to avoid coverage gaps and late enrollment penalties. Know the deadlines and allow yourself enough time to not only complete your application but to make a well-informed decision about your coverage.

Medicare Application A Status

Medicare Part A provides coverage for medical services given in a hospital setting.

You apply for Medicare Part A coverage online at the Social Security Administration website or by calling 1-800-772-1213. Once you’ve done this, you can check the status of your Medicare Part A application by following the steps listed above.

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Medicare Application B Status

Medicare Part B provides coverage for medical services that come outside of hospital settings, including visits to your primary care provider and trips to urgent care. You’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part B if you qualify for it.

You can check the status of your Medicare Part B application using the same steps you followed to check your Part A application. Both parts are usually approved at the same time.

You can decline Medicare Part B if you don’t need the coverage it provides. To do this, you can either contact Social Security or follow the associated instructions in your welcome packet. You will need to send your Medicare card back to the Social Security Administration with a request in writing that includes your signature.

Status of Medicare Advantage, Part D and Medigap

After basic coverage, Medicare offers three other policies: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and Medigap. Private insurers provide the coverage for all three plans.

Overview of Plans
Medicare Advantage
Also known as Part C, includes coverage for Medicare Parts A and B and oftentimes other health-related expenses like vision, hearing and dental. Coverage amounts and other details of your coverage depends on the plan you select.
Medicare Part D
Plans that provide prescription drug coverage.
Medigap
Plans that provide supplemental insurance to help pay for some expenses Medicare doesn’t cover, including copayments and deductibles.

You may be able to check the status of your Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and Medigap coverage by using the Medicare.gov or My Social Security portals, visiting a Medicare office or by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

However, the best way to check the application status of a private Medicare plan is to contact the insurance company that is providing the plan for which you are applying. Most insurance companies are available by phone or email. Some may even offer additional contact options like SMS or live chat tools.

Finally, you can check the status of your Medicare Part D by asking your pharmacy to send a test claim to your insurer. If Medicare accepts it, then you’re covered.

How Long Does It Take for Medicare To Be Approved?

Applications for Medicare Parts A and B can take four to eight weeks to be approved. If you apply for both at the same time, they’re usually approved together.

Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and Medigap plans and process their own applications, so wait times may be shorter. Most insurers take up to eight weeks to approve applications.

You have eight months after you stop working to apply for Medicare. This is your own special enrollment period, and you can submit your application while you are still working full time. If you don’t enroll within the eight-month window, you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period opens to apply.

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When Does Your Medicare Coverage Start?

If you qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A, then it starts on the first day of the month when you turn 65, regardless of when you applied.

Medicare Part A that require premium payments and Medicare Part B start on different dates, depending on your application date.
  • If you apply before you turn 65, your coverage starts on the first day of the month you turn 65.
  • If you apply one month after you turn 65, your coverage begins on the first day of the month after you turn 65.
  • If you apply two to three months after you turn 65, your coverage starts on the first day of the third month after you turn 65. For example, if your birthday is September 10 and you apply on November 13, your coverage begins December 1.

However, starting on Jan. 1, 2023, Medicare coverage will always start the month after you apply.

If for some reason the government denies your application for Medicare coverage, you may appeal. The government will mail any denial with a letter of explanation, which should also include instructions about how to appeal the decision.

If you don’t receive an acceptance letter within 60 days of submitting your application, call the Social Security Administration or check online. You’ll need your Medicare application number to get an answer.

One benefit of joining Medicare is that once you join, you don’t need to reapply for benefits each year. But you can change plans or adjust your coverages during the Medicare open enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year. Any changes in coverage kick in on Jan. 1.

When Will You Receive Your Medicare Card?

When you enroll in Medicare, you will receive a red, white and blue ID card in the mail. This card grants you access to your Medicare benefits.

If you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare, your Medicare card will arrive approximately three months before your 65th birthday.

Your Medicare card will display:
  • Your name
  • Your Medicare number
  • Medicare plans you’re enrolled in
  • Start dates for each plan

If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Part D plan, you will receive a separate card. You will get two cards if you enroll in both.

Medicare officials advise that it’s a good idea to keep your primary Medicare card handy even if you use a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D card. This will make the transition easier if you ever change plans or go back to using Original Medicare.

Medicare Status Check FAQs

How long does it take to get Medicare Part B after applying?
If you enrolled in the three months prior to your 65th birthday, you’ll receive your Medicare Part B benefits on the first day of your birth month. If you enroll in the three months after your birthday, your coverage will be delayed by up to 3 months. If you sign up during the yearly Medicare general enrollment period, you will receive your benefits on July 1 of that year. Starting on Jan. 1, 2023, your coverage will start on the first day of the next month whenever you apply after turning 65.
Does Medicare automatically send you a card?
Medicare sends a card to everyone who is accepted into the program. You should receive this card within two weeks of your application being accepted.
How do I track my Medicare Part B application?
You can track your Medicare Part B application online through your My Social Security account or through the Medicare.gov portal. You can also track it in person at your local Medicare office or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

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Last Modified: January 17, 2023

12 Cited Research Articles

  1. USA.gov. (2022, October 26). Medicare. Retrieved from https://www.usa.gov/medicare
  2. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). When Will My Coverage Start? Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/basics/get-started-with-medicare/sign-up/when-does-medicare-coverage-start
  3. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Getting Medicare When You Retire. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/basics/get-started-with-medicare/medicare-basics/working-past-65/getting-medicare-when-you-retire
  4. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Your Medicare Card. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/basics/get-started-with-medicare/using-medicare/your-medicare-card
  5. Social Security Administration. (n.d.). Medicare Benefits. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/
  6. Social Security Administration. (n.d.). Medicare information. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/medicare.htm
  7. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Welcome to Medicare Package (Not Automatically Enrolled). Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/basics/forms-publications-mailings/mailings/signing-up/welcome-to-medicare-package
  8. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Enrolling in Medicare Part A and Part B. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11036-Enrolling-Medicare-Part-A-Part-B.pdf
  9. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). How to drop Part A & Part B. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/basics/get-started-with-medicare/sign-up/ready-to-sign-up-for-part-a-part-b/how-to-drop-part-a-part-b
  10. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Medigap & Medicare Drug Coverage (Part D). Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-other-insurance/whats-medicare-supplement-insurance-medigap/medigap-medicare-drug-coverage-part-d
  11. State Health Insurance Assistance Program. (n.d.). About. Retrieved from https://www.shiphelp.org/about-us
  12. University of California San Francisco Health. (n.d.). Medicare. Retrieved from https://medicalaffairs.ucsf.edu/medicare