Your Medicare card is the primary way that you will provide your Medicare coverage details to your health care providers. Whenever you visit the doctor, you will likely need to show them your Medicare card to have your medical services covered. However, what happens if your card is lost or stolen?
You will need to request a replacement Medicare card. Unlike a Social Security card, which is rarely used, you will likely need to use your Medicare card much more frequently. Therefore, you will need to get a replacement right away if you no longer have your card. So, how do you get a replacement? The process is easy, and there are a couple of options. Keep reading to learn what you need to do to get a new Medicare card.
How To Get A Replacement Medicare Card
The process of getting a replacement card is easy, although it varies slightly depending on the type of Medicare coverage you have. If you have Original Medicare, the process will be different from the process for those with a Medicare Advantage plan. Your initial card will be mailed to you when you sign up for Medicare, but here are the steps you should take to get a replacement.
— Original Medicare
If you have Original Medicare, it is quite easy to get a replacement for a lost Medicare card. The easiest way to do so is by using your My Social Security account to request a replacement. You can register for an account online at www.ssa.gov. Once your account is set up, it only takes a few clicks to request your replacement card. You can also request a replacement card online through your Medicare account at myMedicare.gov. Finally, you can request a new card over the phone by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) or by calling 1-800-Medicare. If you receive Medicare through the Railroad Retirement Board, you should call them to replace your card.
— Medicare Advantage Plan
Remember that Medicare Advantage plans are managed by private insurance companies. For that reason, the process of getting a replacement card can vary. Each insurance company has its own process for requesting a new card. However, most plans allow you to request a new card either online or via phone. If you have access to your plan details online, you can likely request a new card through your online account. Otherwise, you might need to call and make the request. If you have any questions about how to get a new Medicare card, you should contact the health insurance company that manages your plan.
Documents Needed To Replace Your Medicare Card
One thing that makes the process of requesting a replacement Medicare card so easy is the fact that no additional documents are required. If you make your request online, you simply need to log into your account and request your new card. You do not need to provide additional documents, like a driver’s license, Social Security card, U.S. passport, or any other identifying documents. Your identity has already been verified when you registered for your online account.
If you make your request over the phone, you might need to provide some identity verification over the phone. You may be asked for your Social Security number, Medicare number, date of birth, or some other piece of identifying information. However, you will not be required to provide original copies of any documents. Overall, the process of getting a new Medicare card is typically easier than getting a replacement Social Security card.
How Long Does It Take To Get A New Medicare Card?
You should receive your new Medicare card in about 30 days from the time of your request. Your new card will be mailed to you at your address on file with the Social Security Administration. If you need to update your address or other personal information, you will need to make the changes through your My Social Security account or by calling the Social Security Administration. Although the Medicare program runs on its own, your contact information is typically managed by the Social Security Administration. Do not get Medicare confused with Medicaid, either. These are two completely separate programs, and there are significant differences between Medicare and Medicaid. You should contact your state Medicaid office if you need a new Medicaid card.
If you need a replacement insurance card from a Medicare Advantage plan, the time it takes to receive it varies by provider. Most providers can have a new card delivered to you within 30 days, and some might even have your new card arrive within a week. When you make the request, you can ask your plan provider to estimate how long it will take. They should be able to tell you when to expect the card in the mail.
Same-Day Medicare Card Replacement
So, what can you do if you need a replacement document immediately? As we’ve already mentioned, getting your new card in the mail can take up to a month. However, there are a few things you can do in the meantime. First, keeping a copy of your Medicare card in a safe place at your home is wise. If your original card gets damaged or is lost, you can use the copy to present it at your doctor’s office or pharmacy until you receive your new card.
Although this might not be an official copy of your Medicare card, it will suffice most of the time. Similarly, keeping a copy also provides you with easy access to your Medicare number, plan information, and the phone number of your provider. You can also visit your local Social Security office in person and request a new card. They can issue a letter that shows your new card has been requested. This letter can also serve as a temporary card in many cases. You can also print an official copy of your Medicare card using your Medicare.gov account, and this official copy will accomplish almost anything you need to do with your Medicare card.
If you have a Part C Medicare Advantage plan, you might be able to print a new card directly from your online account. Upon logging into your account, you can print a temporary card until your new one arrives in the mail. This temporary card will display all your Medicare information, and you can generally use it just like a permanent card.
For those who cannot print a temporary card, you should give your health care provider all the information you can to continue receiving your Medicare benefits. Many people find themselves needing prescriptions, and this can be a real issue if you have lost your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan card. When you go to the pharmacy, you can show them your enrollment confirmation or “Welcome to Medicare” letter. The pharmacy might also be able to call Medicare and confirm your Medicare plan coverage details or details about your drug coverage.
What To Do If Your Medicare Card Is Lost Or Stolen
If your Medicare card is lost or stolen, it could fall into the wrong hands. Medicare fraud is becoming more common, and thieves are constantly on the lookout for new victims. Believe it or not, people might try to use your Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B coverage to their benefit. Similarly, thieves can try to use your Social Security number to fraudulently receive your Social Security benefits.
Upon losing your Medicare card or having it stolen, you should start to keep a close eye on your Medicare statements, also called your Medicare Summary Notice. If someone is attempting to use your Medicare health insurance, you will see this activity on these summary notices. You can also access these notices through your Medicare account at Medicare.gov. If you notice suspicious activity, you should contact Medicare right away to report the fraud. A thief who is impersonating you to obtain medical benefits could cause you to lose important benefits or could cause you to be left with big medical bills that are not yours.
The Bottom Line
Requesting a replacement Medicare card is easy, and there are a few different ways you can do it. You can request a new card online, over the phone, or in person. Simply use your My Social Security account, call the Social Security Administration, or visit your local Social Security office. It should take about 30 days to receive your new card in the mail, regardless of which method you choose. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Supplement insurance, you will need to contact the insurance provider who manages your plan to get a replacement card.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get a replacement Medicare card at my local Social Security office?
If you have Original Medicare, yes, you can request a replacement Medicare card at your local Social Security office. You should know that the card will not be given to you immediately. Although you can request the card at your local office, your official card will be sent to you in the mail. It could take up to 30 days to receive your new card. Requesting a new card online is typically easier, and you might obtain it a little quicker as well.
How much does a Medicare card replacement cost?
Requesting a replacement card for Original Medicare coverage does not cost anything. You can request a replacement card from Medicare at no charge. Most Medicare Advantage plans also issue replacement cards for free. However, some plans might place a limit on the number of replacement cards that they will provide. You should contact your plan provider for more details on the cost of replacements and limits on quantities of replacement cards.
Can I get a replacement Medicare card if I’m not eligible for Medicare?
If you are not eligible for Medicare coverage, you never had a Medicare card in the first place. Only those enrolled in Medicare will receive a card. If you are not enrolled in Medicare, then you cannot request a replacement card. Therefore, those who are not eligible for Medicare will not be able to get a replacement card.