Do I Need My Birth Certificate to Sign Up for Medicare

Last updated February 2nd, 2024

If you're approaching 65 or have a qualifying disability, you are eligible to sign up for Medicare in the United States.

To be able to apply for the different parts of Medicare through Social Security, you’ll need to be both eligible and submit the required documents, such as a birth certificate.

Find out exactly which forms of identification you’ll need to sign up for Medicare and key information regarding how and when you can apply.

Eligibility for Medicare

The different parts of Medicare are administered by the U.S. Department of Health. Each part offers different coverage, such as hospital care, medical care, and prescription drugs.

You will be able to apply for Medicare Parts A (hospital) and B (medical) if any of the following apply to you:

  • 65 years of age or older
  • Under 65 with a qualifying disability and have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for at least 24 months
  • Any age with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Eligibility for Medicare Part A, which covers hospital insurance without the need for any premiums, is determined by your earnings, or those of your partner, child, or parent.

When Should You Sign Up for Medicare

It’s recommended that anyone who becomes eligible sign up for Medicare right away. This means you can start 3 months before turning 65. This is the ideal time to apply.

In most cases, eligibility lasts up until 3 months after turning 65. Applying as soon as you are eligible will reduce the risk of any delays that could result in a loss of eligibility.

It’s also worth noting that you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically if you are already receiving Social Security benefits.

Required Documents to Sign Up for Medicare

To apply for Medicare you will need to provide the correct documentation. If you do not submit the necessary documents you will likely face delays in the application process.

For most individuals, the following documents will need to be submitted along with the application:

  • US birth certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of US citizenship
  • Tax Information
  • Military documentation
  • Existing healthcare plan information

Once you have gathered all of this information you will be able to apply for Medicare.

Where to Apply for Medicare

There are 3 different ways that you can apply for Medicare. You don’t necessarily need to apply in person, however, you must still hand in the required documentation.

You can apply to enroll in Medicare plans by:

  • Internet
  • Phone
  • In-person

To apply online you will need to visit the Social Security Website. You can also call the Social Security Administration directly or go to your closest Social Security office personally.