You Can Now Sign Up for Medicare Part B Online, by Fax or Mail

older woman in yellow sweater celebrating success while holding her laptop

Earlier this spring during the COVID-19 pandemic, we highlighted the need for a change in Medicare’s enrollment process. Many working older adults who had delayed their enrollment in Medicare Part B were either loosing or quitting their jobs to stay safe during the pandemic. Yet, with most Social Security offices closed due to COVID-19, people were have trouble enrolling in Medicare Part B during their 8-month Special Enrollment Period. Now Social Security is offering several easy ways people can enroll in Medicare Part B without even leaving their home. This is great news!

As long as you are:

  • Already enrolled in Medicare Part A, and
  • You are still in your 8-month Special Enrollment Period (this SEP starts the month of terminated employment and ends 8 months later),

you can enroll in Medicare Part B online, by fax or mail. To do this, you can complete form CMS-40B (Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B [Medical Insurance]) and CMS-L564 (Request for Employment Information) online.

You can also fax the CMS-40B and CMS-L564 or return forms by mail to your local Social Security office.  Please contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) if you have any questions.  

Some additional things to note when completing the forms, as stated in Social Security’s recent article include:

  • State, “I want Part B coverage to begin (MM/YY)” in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
  • If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best you can on behalf of your employer without your employer’s signature.
  • Submit one of the following types of secondary evidence by uploading it from a saved document on your computer:
    • Income tax returns that show health insurance premiums paid.
    • W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
    • Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
    • Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
    • Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
  • Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.

Please share this information with family and friends. For more details, visit Social Security’s Medicare Part B webpage.

If you would like some assistance, contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.