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How can I replace my Medicare card if it is lost, stolen, or damaged?
Your red-white-and-blue Original Medicare card is your proof that you have Medicare health insurance. If your card is lost or stolen, or you can no longer use it because it is too faded or damaged, you can replace it. To help prevent Medicare fraud, you should also report a lost or stolen card to Medicare or your insurance company right away.
Here are three ways to request a new Medicare card:
- By phone: Call the National Social Security Hotline at 800-772-1213 (TTY users, call 1-800-325-0778).
- Online: Go to the Medicare website and click on the "Forms, Help & Resources" tab on the top left of the page.
- In person: Go to your local Social Security office
To get a new card, you will need to provide the following:
- Your name as it appears on your most recent Social Security card
- Your Social Security number
- Your date of birth
The Social Security Administration will mail your new card in about 30 days. The card will be mailed to the address that Social Security has on record, so make sure they have your current address. If you have moved and have not reported your change of address to Social Security, you will need to report this change before Social Security can process your request for a new Medicare card.
Note: If you lose a card from a private Medicare plan such as Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, you will need to call the plan directly to get your card replaced.
If you got Medicare through the Railroad Retirement Board, you must call the Railroad Retirement Board Help Line at 800-833-4455 (TTY: 1-877-566-3572) to order a replacement Medicare card.
What if I need my Medicare card right away?
If you need proof right away that you have Medicare, you can ask a representative at the National Social Security Hotline for a letter that you can use until you get your replacement card. You should get this letter in about 10 days. If you need immediate proof for your doctor or for a prescription, you should visit your nearest Social Security office.
Be on the alert for Medicare fraud.
If your Medicare card has been lost or stolen, you will need to watch out for Medicare fraud. You can do this by checking your Medicare Summary Notices for services or supplies you did not receive. If you spot anything suspicious or wrong, call the Inspector General's fraud hotline at 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477). Explain that you lost your card and think someone else may have used it.
How can I keep my Medicare card information safe?
It's always important to keep your Medicare card and other insurance cards in a safe place, like in a locked desk drawer. You should also make photocopies of the cards to keep in your files so that you have a record if you lose any of them. Some people also like to give a photocopy of their cards to an adult relative or caregiver for added safekeeping.
Because your Social Security number is on your Medicare card, it's important to keep your card safe from theft or loss. The Identity Theft Resource Center recommends the following tips to keep an identity thief from getting this information:
- Photocopy your Medicare card, front and back, and cut it down to wallet size.
- Using scissors or a black marker, cut off or cross out the last four numbers of your Social Security number. Then staple the front and back sides together.
- Keep this photocopy with you all the time to use at the doctor's office or pharmacy.
- Put your original card in a safe, locked area.
- Only take your original Medicare card with you on the days you know you will need it, such as the first time you visit a new doctor or pharmacy.