Lost Your Medicare Card? Here’s How To Get A New Card Issued – Updated For 2018
As much as you try to safeguard your Medicare card, sometimes they do get damaged, misplaced, stolen, or worn and need to be replaced. Sometimes these cards become so worn and faded that healthcare providers can no longer read the numbers accurately, leading to misfiled or incorrect information. If your Medicare card gets misplaced or can no longer be read, don’t panic. Follow these simple steps to replace your card.
Depending on which types of Medicare you’re enrolled in, you may have one or two Medicare cards. If you’re enrolled in Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B, you’ll have a red, white, and blue “original Medicare” card, and you might have a second card for prescriptions if you’re also enrolled in Medicare Part D. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C), you might have a single card that covers both your managed health plan and your prescription drug plan. Other Medicare Part C enrollees don’t have prescription coverage through their Part C plan, are also enrolled in Part D, and have a separate Medicare card.
In general, it takes about 30 days to get a new Medicare card. Replacement cards are mailed to the address the Social Security Administration has on file for you, since the Social Security Administration is the office that handles Medicare. If you’ve recently changed addresses, you’ll want to check to make sure that your file is up to date.
New Medicare Cards Coming in 2018-2019
You may have heard that you’ll receive a new Medicare card between April 2018 and April 2019. The Social Security Administration plans to mail out new cards to Medicare recipients during this period. You won’t have to take any special steps to receive this card; you’ll be mailed one automatically simply because you’re enrolled in Medicare.
Don’t be alarmed if your friends or family members receive their new Medicare cards before you do. The process will be completed in stages over a one-year period, so the cards won’t all arrive at the same time. When your new Medicare card arrives, take it with you to your doctor’s office and other healthcare appointments; these medical services will want to have a copy of your new card on file, even if they’ve already made a copy of your current card.
Please note that in the process of distributing the new Medicare cards, the Social Security Administration won’t call you and ask you for any personal information. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security and asking you for this information, you can call the Medicare fraud hotline, 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), to report attempted fraud.
Replacing an Original Medicare Card
An original Medicare card is the red, white, and blue card that covers both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. To replace an original Medicare Card you have three choices:
1. Call the National Social Security Hotline (800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778) between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
2. Go in person to your local Social Security office.
3. Go online and visit https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ to apply for a new Medicare card.
No matter which of these options you choose, you’ll need to provide the Social Security Administration with three pieces of information:
1. Your date of birth
2. Your Social Security number
3. Your name, as it appeared on your most recent Social Security card
You may be asked for some additional information, such as your mother’s maiden name, your place of birth, your phone number, or the amount of the last payment Medicare made on your behalf. All of these questions are safeguards to make sure your information isn’t being used fraudulently.
If you need your Medicare card within a shorter amount of time than the standard 30 days (for example, if you have an upcoming medical appointment or need to fill a prescription), your best option will be to visit your local Social Security office in person.
While waiting for your replacement Medicare card to arrive, you can usually still get your prescriptions filled. Your pharmacist may ask you for the last four digits of your Social Security number or your Medicare number, if you know it. With this information, the pharmacist may be able to confirm that you’re actively enrolled in Medicare and still process your prescription information as usual.
In the event that you need to fill a prescription and the pharmacist isn’t able to find your Medicare information using your personal data, you might have to pay for your prescription out of pocket. If you do, make sure you keep all the receipts from your prescription transactions. You may still be able to get Medicare to reimburse you for those expenses.
How To Obtain A New Medicare Card Online For 2018
1. If you don’t already have a My Social Security online account, you’ll need to create one. The website will ask you to select a username and a password to access your account with. Once you’ve done this, the Social Security Administration will e-mail you or text your cell phone with an access code that’ll allow you to finish setting up your account securely.
Please note that if you have a security freeze on your credit, you’ll need to temporarily lift the security freeze in order to set up a new My Social Security account.
2. Log into your My Social Security account.
3. Click on the “Replacement Documents” tab.
4. Select “Mail My Replacement Medicare Card.”
You’ll then be mailed your replacement card, typically within a 30-day period. If you need to change the address you have on file with the Social Security Administration, you can also do this while you’re logged into your account.
Replacing a Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage Plan) Card
If your Medicare Advantage Card is lost, stolen, faded, or damaged, you’ll call your plan provider to get a replacement card. Those whose plan provider is the Railroad Retirement Board can call the Railroad Retirement Board Help Line (877-772-5772).
On occasions, your Medicare Advantage Plan card may become lost or destroyed during a natural disaster or other emergency. If this happens to you and you don’t know the name of your plan provider or don’t have the information to contact your plan provider with, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Medicare employees can help you search for and find the correct plan information that will help you replace your lost card.
Note that you can also call Medicare to help you get the medical services you need after an emergency or disaster. Call 1-800-MEDICARE if you need help accessing dialysis or other medical treatments and your usual healthcare provider is unavailable.
Replacing a Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Plan) Card
As with Medicare Advantage Cards, Medicare Part D or prescription drug plan cards are administered by private plan providers. If your Medicare Part D card is lost, stolen, or damaged, you’ll want to contact your plan provider to get a replacement card.
If you know the name of your prescription plan provider and you know your membership number, call your provider and request a replacement card. Those who don’t know the name of their prescription coverage provider can go to the pharmacy where they regularly have their prescriptions filled. The pharmacy staff will be able to help you access the insurance information that it has on file. You may have to provide your Medicare number or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
In the event that you can’t get the name of your provider and/or your membership number through your pharmacy, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). The Medicare staff will be able to help you access your Medicare Part D plan information.
Tips for Keeping Your Medicare Card Safe
Find more tips for keeping your Medicare card safe on the Social Security website.
1. Make photocopies of your Medicare and Social Security cards. This was, if the cards themselves need to be replaced, you’ll still have access to numbers and other important information. Keep the photocopies in a safe place.
2. When you receive your Medicare Summary Notice, check it to make sure it lists only services you’ve actually had performed. Charging you for services that weren’t performed is one form of Medicare fraud. If you suspect fraud, you can call the fraud hotline of the Inspector General (800-447-8477 or 800-HHS-TIPS). You can request that the Inspector General does not use your name when investigating potential cases of fraud.
3. Don’t carry your Medicare card with you out of habit. Keep it in a secure location in your home and carry it only when you know you’ll need it, such as when you have a doctor’s appointment.
4. Be careful about who you share your Social Security number with. Just because you’re asked for your Social Security number doesn’t mean you need to give it out. Before giving it out, make sure you know who needs the information, what they need it for, how it will be used, and what will happen if you decide not to share it.