A person may need to replace their Medicare card if it is lost, stolen, or too worn out to read. There are several ways to replace a lost Medicare card.
People with Original Medicare may request a new card by calling Medicare on 800-633-4227.
Individuals may also request a replacement card online through the Social Security website. They will need to sign in to their Social Security account to request the card. People who do not have an account can register at the site.
Once the beneficiary has logged into the site, they should select “Replacement documents” and then “Mail my replacement Medicare card.”
People who would prefer to request their card in person may visit their local Social Security office. New Medicare cards arrive in the mail about 30 days after the initial request.
Medicare Advantage is a privately administered, bundled plan that some people choose instead of Original Medicare. Individuals with Medicare Advantage who need a replacement card should contact their plan provider.
They can follow the instructions from the insurance provider’s customer service line or website to request a replacement card.
A Medicare card is a person’s unique identifier for healthcare services. The document informs healthcare providers that the individual has health insurance and that Medicare will fund eligible medical services.
The Medicare card shows whether a person has Medicare Part A, Part B, or both. It also displays the date on which coverage started.
People with Medicare should consider carrying their card with them when they are traveling or away from home in case they require medical care.
Usually, when a person first enrolls in Medicare, they receive their card in the mail within 30 days of enrollment.
Any individuals who receive automatic enrollment, such as those who receive Social Security payments, typically get their card a few months before they reach 65 years of age.
It is still possible to access healthcare services without being able to present a Medicare card. People can do this in several different ways.
A person with Original Medicare may log in to myMedicare.gov and print a temporary copy of their Medicare card.
In addition, while waiting for their replacement card, the person can ask their healthcare provider to look up their Medicare number online.
A person’s primary care doctor and their previous healthcare providers may also have insurance information on file in their medical records.
It may take 30 days for a person’s new card to arrive. However, a person may require proof of their Medicare enrollment before it comes.
Beneficiaries can also request a letter stating that they have Medicare and providing their Medicare number. Usually, the letter takes about 10 days to arrive.
A person may need immediate proof of Medicare coverage. In these circumstances, they may visit a local Social Security office in person.
Read more on Medicare services that the Social Security Administration offers.
Safeguarding a Medicare card involves keeping the physical card in good condition and protecting all Medicare information to prevent identity theft.
Medicare cards are made from paper, which means that they may fray or fade over time. To protect the card and keep the information readable, some people may want to laminate it.
However, the Social Security Administration cautions against laminating the card, as this may interfere with its security features.
To prevent damage to the card and have it visible, the Social Security Administration recommends using a plastic cardholder sleeve to store it.
Individuals who have Medicare should also consider photocopying their card. It may be helpful to have important numbers readily available, including the Medicare phone number and the contact details for any relevant Medicare Advantage or Medigap providers.
People who make a copy of their Medicare card should keep it in a safe location to protect against identity theft. A lockbox or safe deposit box provides a secure location for important documents.
It is also useful to keep the physical card in a place that is easily accessible but safe from theft.
In the past, a person’s Medicare card listed their social security number, which also served as their Medicare number.
However, this changed in 2018. A Medicare beneficiary identifier number replaced the social security number on all Medicare cards in 2018 to reduce the likelihood of medical identity theft.
It is still vital, however, to be proactive about preventing fraudulent activity. For example, it is essential for people with Medicare to avoid sharing their Medicare beneficiary identifier number with anyone except their healthcare provider.
A person should never provide personal Medicare information to a person who emails or calls for information. Also, beneficiaries should never let another individual borrow the card to pay for services on their behalf.
People should also consider checking their Medicare Summary Notice to make sure that it is accurate. If people identify services that they did not receive, they should first call their healthcare provider to determine whether a billing error occurred.
People concerned about possible Medicare identity theft or fraudulent activity should contact Medicare on 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).
Beneficiaries of Medicare can request a replacement for a lost, damaged, or stolen card by phone, online, or in person at the Social Security Administration.
It is helpful to take precautions to keep the card and Medicare beneficiary identifier number safe. Doing this can help an individual reduce the risk of theft and identity fraud.