You can register for Medicare benefits online, if you are not ready to also sign up for Social Security. The online application, which takes less than 10 minutes to complete, is for people reaching the Medicare eligibility age of 65 who want to delay filing for Social Security retirement benefits. Currently about a half million Americans enroll in Medicare each year without applying for monthly benefits. Social Security is responsible for enrolling Americans in both programs.

Here is how it’s done

To apply online for Medicare do the following.

You will be asked a brief series of questions.

If you have a question or need additional information, there are “more info” links. When you’re done, just select the “Sign Now” button to submit the application.

There are no paper forms to sign, and usually no additional documents are required. If more information is needed, Social Security will contact you by phone or letter.

For a variety of reasons, more and more Americans are choosing to delay receiving Social Security retirement benefits past the it is now age 66 for individuals just becoming eligible for retirement benefits and will eventually become age 67.

Another reason is that benefits can be increased by up to 32 percent if someone delays receiving them until age 70.

To learn more, see When To Start Receiving Retirement Benefits

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