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What Documents Do I Need to Apply for Medicare?

Table of Contents

Summary: You will need to provide certain information and documents when you apply for Medicare. This information is necessary regardless of whether you apply for Medicare online or in person. Learn more about which documentation is required when signing up for Medicare below. Estimated Read Time: 5 min

To sign up for Medicare, you must provide specific documentation to prove your eligibility, age, and identity. Whether applying online, over the phone, or in person, you should have this information ready beforehand.

It is not uncommon to be asked to provide additional information if you have recently moved, live in more than one state, are still working, or have an unusual circumstance. So, the documentation required to apply for Medicare may differ slightly depending on your situation.

If you are automatically enrolled in Medicare because you already receive Social Security benefits, you will not have to provide additional information to receive your coverage.

Documentation Needed to Apply for Medicare

You must sign up for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) through Social Security. You can apply for Medicare in three ways: online, over the phone, or in person at your local Social Security office.

When applying for Medicare, you will need the following documents:

  • Your Social Security card (or other proof of your SSN)
  • An original copy of a document proving your age, such as a birth certificate, census record, or vaccine record – if possible, it should be from before you turned five
  • Documentation proving U.S. citizenship or legal residency, such as a driver’s license or U.S. passport (if you weren’t born in the United States)

You may need additional documentation, including the following:

  • W-2 forms, if still employed
  • Coverage dates and information about current health insurance (if applicable)
  • Your original military service papers (if you served in the military before 1968)

Individuals who previously proved their age or residency status for a prior claim through Social Security or Medicare don’t need to submit the information again.

Unless otherwise instructed, Social Security will return all original documents or photocopies.

When applying for Original Medicare on the phone or online, it helps to have the above documents in front of you. This way, you’ll have the information ready when you need it. You may be required to mail or fax your documentation to your local Social Security office if they are unable to validate your identity over the phone.

What Documents Do I Need To Apply For Medicare Online?

Enrolling in Medicare online has become a popular option due to how convenient the process is. You can apply for Medicare online by visiting SSA.gov. Before you begin to apply for Original Medicare online, you’ll need to create a My Social Security account. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires the following to sign up for an account:

  • A valid email address
  • Social Security number
  • Primary mailing address

The SSA prohibits having someone else sign up for you, even if you give them written permission. Likewise, you can’t sign up for anyone but yourself.

Once you have your My Social Security account, you can begin the Medicare application process. When you apply for Medicare online, have the documents listed above readily available to make the application process as easy as possible.

If you need to stop mid-way through your application for whatever reason, your progress will be saved, and you can resume your application later by logging into your My Social Security account. When logged into your account, you can also check the status of your application after it’s submitted.

What Documentation Do I Need to Apply For Medicare Part B After Delaying Coverage?

Some individuals may delay enrolling in Medicare Part B during their Initial Enrollment Period because they still have health coverage through their employer. If you delayed your Medicare Part B coverage and your group insurance was considered creditable, you will receive a Special Enrollment Period when your employment ends. During this time, you can apply for Medicare Part B without incurring a late enrollment penalty.

When applying for Medicare Part B during a Special Enrollment Period, you will have to provide additional documentation that shows proof of your group healthcare coverage that you received through you or your spouse’s employer.

You can download the CMS-L564 Request for Employment Information form and have your (or your spouse’s) employer fill it out. This form will need to be faxed or mailed to your local Social Security office. Even if you apply for Medicare Part B online, you will still need to provide this documentation.

If your employer is unable to fill out the CMS-L564 form, you will need to fill out Section B as best you can (but do not sign it) and submit other proof of job-based health coverage. The different types of proof of employer-based insurance include:

  • W-2s showing pre-tax medical contributions
  • Income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid
  • Pay stubs showing health insurance deductions
  • Health insurance card with policy effective date
  • Explanations of benefits paid by the employer group health plan
  • Receipts or statements that show payment of health insurance premiums

In addition to providing proof of employer group health coverage, you will also need the following information for applying for Medicare Part B outside of your Initial Enrollment Period:

  • Your Medicare number
  • Current address and phone number
  • A valid e-mail address

Get Help Preparing for Medicare Enrollment

Being prepared to apply for Medicare can make the process easier and less stressful. It’s important to start getting your documentation together ahead of time in case you are missing something. If you need to replace a lost document, such as a birth certificate, it can take some time for the replacement to be processed and delivered.

If you’re entering your Initial Enrollment Period and have questions about the Medicare application process, give us a call. Our licensed agents can help answer your questions and provide additional information on Medicare.


Sign Up for Part B Only, Social Security. Accessed August 2023


Ready to sign up for Part A & Part B, Medicare. Accessed August 2023


Sign Up for Medicare, Social Security. Accessed August 2023


Thomas Liquori

Thomas Liquori

Ashlee Zareczny

Ashlee Zareczny

Compliance Supervisor and Licensed Medicare Agent
Ashlee Zareczny is the Compliance Supervisor for ApplyforMedicare. As a licensed Medicare agent in all 50 states, she is dedicated to educating those eligible for Medicare by providing the necessary resources and tools. Additionally, Ashlee trains new and tenured Medicare agents on CMS compliance guidelines. Ashlee is a Medicare expert who specializes in Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D education.