For Consumers

What should I expect after I sign up?

When will my coverage start?

If you sign up for Medicare Part A (Hospital insurance) and/or Medicare Part B (Medical insurance) during the first three months of your Initial Enrollment Period, your coverage starts the first day of your birthday month, unless your birthday is on the first day of the month. Then your coverage would start the first day of the month before your birthday month.

Timeline for when your Medicare coverage starts based on when you sign up for Parts A and B
If you sign up for Part A/ B in this month:Your coverage starts:

The month you turn 65

1 month after you sign up

1 month after you turn 65

2 months after you sign up

2 months after you turn 65

3 months after you sign up

3 months after you turn 65

3 months after you sign up

During the Jan. 1–Mar. 31 General Enrollment Period

July 1


When will I get my Medicare card?

Once you sign up for Medicare, you'll get your red, white and blue Medicare card in the mail that looks like this:

Picture of sample Medicare card

Be sure to keep your card and number safe. Do not share them with anyone except your medical providers.

If you sign up for Part C (Medicare Advantage), Part D (prescription drug) or a Medigap plan, or have Medicaid, these plans will mail you a separate membership card. Keep these cards safe and bring them with your Medicare card to the medical provider or the pharmacy. You will need to let your providers know which plans you have.

What to do if you lose your Medicare card

If your Medicare card gets damaged or you lose it:

How do I change my name or address for my Medicare card?

Medicare uses the name and address you have on file with Social Security. To change your name and/or address, go to your Social Security account (