Applying for Medicare and Social Security

In the last two years, my husband and I have applied for Medicare and Social Security. Prior to applying, I read articles, looked at the information on the Medicare and Social Security websites. I found that information very helpful. My husband applied differently than I did. There is much information about the plans and Medicare. What I also learned is that there is little to no information about the “process”; what to expect, how long does this process take? Below are my notes about both of our experiences applying for Medicare and Social Security.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Applying for Medicare ONLY: My husband was still working when he applied for Medicare. Everyone automatically gets Part A (Hospital Insurance). Part B (Medical Insurance) you have to say you will take it [unless you have employer health insurance and there are more than 20 employees]. His Medicare card came in the mail about 10 days after he applied. Applying for Medicare ONLY took a few minutes.

Later in the year…during Open Enrollment, my husband then applied for a Medicare Advantage plan that began 01/01/2022.

Applying for Social Security ONLY: February 2022, my husband applied for Social Security.  It took about 11 weeks.  Social Security works in arrears, so for example he wanted Social Security to start May 1, 2022.  His benefit for May began in June.  This info is available on the Social Security site; the schedule for payout of benefits is:

Disability 1st Wednesday of each month

Birthdates 1-10 – 2nd week of the month

Birthdates 11-20 – 3rd week of the month

Birthdates 21-31 – 4th week of the month

Applying for Medicare & Social Security TOGETHER: I applied for Medicare and Social Security together.  I applied on Saturday, November 5, 2022.  My application for Medicare was linked with the Social Security application.  I got approval on Friday, January 20, 2023.  Again, 11 weeks after I applied.  While I was in the application process, I was not able to look at my statement.  

In order to create a Medicare online account, you need your Medicare #, which should come in the mail via a letter from Medicare/Social Security or receiving the card.  I am hopeful now that my application has been approved, I will receive my Medicare card and Benefit Verification Letter with all the details.  

After that is received, I have the option to have tax taken out of your Social Security Benefit.  The form is W-4V Voluntary Withdrawal Request.  I can fill that out and mail it to my local Social Security office.

On Monday, January 30, 2023, I received a Social Security Award Letter.  That letter showed my benefit amount, it also showed that I would be getting Parts A & B Medicare.  I still did not have the Medicare ID #, which I need to set up a Medicare account.  I called Medicare and asked: 

1.  About my ID #

2. Signing up for my Medicare Advantage plan I was interested in. The Medicare customer service rep was able to take my information over the phone, I already knew the plan I wanted. She helped me sign up, gave me a Confirmation #. She helped me by advising me to request a Benefit Verification Letter. I had already done that earlier in January. This time, the Benefit Verification Letter included my Medicare ID #, which now allowed me to set up a Medicare online account. I established a Medicare online account January 30, 2023, as I had received my Medicare ID #.

Getting There…

Yesterday, February 11, 2023, I received my health insurance ID card. Today, I created a Medicare Advantage online account. Finally! Both of us have our Social Security, Medicare & supplemental insurance company online accounts.

Today, February 13, 2023, I received a letter from Social Security showing my benefit less federal income tax & Medicare cost.

A couple of tips:

  1. Make copies of everything.
  2. Take your time. Set aside 30-60 minutes, so you have ample time that will be quiet and uninterrupted to fill out your application. Multi-tasking is not recommended. You need to get it right! You want to have the time to do properly, answer questions without being in a hurry.
  3. When my husband applied during the waiting part of the process for Social Security benefit approval, our bank merged with another bank and our bank routing # changed. We knew the routing # would be wrong. However, direct deposit information was not available to edit because his application was “in process.” We called our local office; a Social Security rep took that change and forwarded to appropriate department.

I hope you have found this beneficial.

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