Apply for Medicare Remotely with Social Security Closed

On March 17, 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) made the decision to close local Social Security offices across the country. The goal was protecting both employees and the community SSA serves, which is largely older Americans and those battling chronic illness. You may still access Social Security via its online portals and the national 800 number, which is 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778). This includes applying for Medicare.

How to Apply for Medicare Remotely

The Social Security site has always made it easy to apply for Medicare online. It takes around 10 minutes. Before you begin, gather the following information:

  • Your birthdate
  • Where you were born
  • Your Medicaid number (if you have one)
  • Your Permanent Resident Card number (if you aren't a U.S. citizen)

If you currently have group coverage through an employer, whether yours or your spouse's, you also need

  • An employment start and end date
  • Current group health plan information, including start and end dates

Social Security provides a checklist that also includes the information you need to compile if you're applying for retirement benefits.

Can You Apply for Medicare via Phone?

The short answer is yes, you may apply for Medicare by calling Social Security's 800 number. The longer answer is yes, but Social Security is warning people to expect long hold times. They predict the 800 number will be overwhelmed with people calling with questions about their benefits, disability applications, etc. SSA is prioritizing “critical claims” calls. This includes Medicare applications for healthcare coverage.

Medicare Coverage for Coronavirus COVID-19

Assuming your provider accepts assignment, Medicare covers coronavirus testing. Please see our post, Medicare Coverage for Coronavirus, for more information on how to protect yourself against this highly contagious disease.

Speak with a licensed sales agent

1-800-637-7602TTY User 711 Mon-Fri 8:30a - 8:00p ET

The MedicareUSA website is operated by HealthPlanOne, LLC a licensed health insurance agency based in Connecticut; in California d/b/a HPOne Insurance Agency, license #OF30784. HealthPlanOne, is a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PPFS organizations and stand-alone prescription drug plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.

For a complete list of available plans please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult

The purpose of this communication is the solicitation of insurance. Contact will be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company.

Medicare supplement plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government or the federal Medicare program.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) does not review or approve Medicare Supplement plan information.

Last Updated 09/01/2019