Enrolling in Medicare

If you have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease) you will be automatically enrolled in Parts A and B the same month your disability benefits begin. If you have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) you have the option of enrolling in Parts A and B, but you need to be enrolled in order to get the full Medicare benefits for dialysis and kidney transplant services. You can enroll in Medicare by calling or visiting your local Social Security Office or by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213.

If you are still working and you are covered under your union or employer's health insurance -- or if you are covered under your spouse's employee health insurance -- Medicare Part B may not be necessary until you lose that coverage.

You will not pay more for signing up later:

If you are going to buy a Medigap plan, you should do so within six months of taking Medicare Part B. During this six-month window, insurers:

To learn about Medigap plans offered in your area, you can use the online federal tool. Or, you can request a copy of ''Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare'' by calling 800‑MEDICARE (800‑633‑4227).

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