What to Bring to Sign Up for Medicare

Medicare is one of the largest health insurance programs in the country, providing coverage for nearly 40 million Americans, according to Medicare.gov. Individuals can sign up for Medicare online, over the phone, by regular mail or in person at a local Social Security office.


Individuals over the age of 65, and disabled individuals under the age of 65 are eligible to apply for Medicare benefits. Individuals with permanent kidney failure treated with a transplant or dialysis, known as end-stage renal disease, are eligible to sign up for Medicare at any age, according to Medicare.gov.

Required Documentation

Birth certificates, U.S. military discharge papers, naturalization papers, W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns are typical documentation an individual must have when signing up for Medicare, according to the Social Security Administration. Medical documents may also be requested.

Social Security Recipients

An individual already receiving Social Security benefits is not required to sign up for Medicare benefits. He is automatically enrolled a month before his 65th birthday, according to Medicare.gov. A Social Security recipient typically receives his Medicare card in the mail three months prior to his 65th birthday, but the card is not effective until his actual birthday month.

Medicare is one of the largest health insurance programs in the country