If you lose your Medicare card, you can easily request a new card online, over the phone or in person. You'll get one in the mail within 30 days. You can also print off a replacement through Medicare.gov.
You'll get a Medicare card in the mail about three months before you turn 65 unless you delay your Social Security benefits. In that case, your Medicare card will arrive with your welcome packet after you manually sign up for Medicare Parts A and B.
How to replace your Medicare card
You can replace your Medicare card online, over the phone or in person. If you've lost your Medicare card, you should notify Medicare to protect yourself from fraud.
Get a new Medicare card online
The simplest and easiest way to replace your Medicare card is to print off a new copy from your Medicare.gov account.
Once you've printed off your new card, carefully snip it out and place it in a secure location, such as a laminated folder, a home safe or your wallet.
Do not laminate or otherwise alter the card. Instead, use a separate plastic sheet as protection. For example, you might place the card in your wallet's inner pocket.
It's a good idea to create an online account as soon as you receive your Medicare card to ensure a smooth and speedy replacement process.
Medicare replacement card phone number
To request a new card over the phone, call 1-800 Medicare (1-800-633-4227) or TTY 1-877-486-2048. A new card will be mailed to you within 30 days.
If you need your card faster, you can ask Medicare to send you a letter, which will act as a temporary form of identification. You can expect your letter within 10 days of your call.
Medicare card replacement in person
You can get same-day Medicare card replacement by visiting your local Social Security office. If you do not have access to a printer, this will be the fastest way to get a new Medicare card.
Avoid long lines at your local office by calling ahead to schedule an appointment.
When will I get my new Medicare card?
Most people get their new Medicare card three months before they turn age 65 because the government automatically enrolls them in Medicare when they start taking Social Security payments.
But, you must sign up for Medicare manually if you choose to delay your Social Security benefits. You'll get your Medicare card in the mail about two weeks after you enroll.
It's important to sign up for Medicare when you turn 65 to avoid the late enrollment penalty.
If you delay your Social Security payments, and you fail to sign up for Medicare at age 65 then you'll have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare. That means you could be stuck paying an extra fee for the rest of your life.
You can also expect a Medicare card in the mail within two weeks of being approved if you're eligible for Medicare because you're disabled and under 65.
What is a Medicare card?
A Medicare card acts as proof that you're enrolled in Medicare. It contains your personal information, such as your name, coverage start dates and Medicare number.
Your Medicare number is a unique 11-digit code that identifies you for billing and tracking purposes.
Your Medicare card also lists that you're enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Medicare Part B (medical coverage). Although it's possible to have Medicare Part B without Part A, it's fairly uncommon.
That's because everyone who's worked for at least a decade has already paid for their Medicare Part A monthly rate through the Medicare tax.
Different types of Medicare cards
All Medicare enrollees should receive a red, white and blue Original Medicare (Parts A and B card. In addition, you may get one or two other Medicare cards, depending on which Medicare programs you're enrolled in.
Programs that come with Medicare cards
- Original Medicare (Parts A and B)
- Medicare Advantage (Part C)
- Medigap (Medicare Supplement)
- Medicare Part D
If you have Medicare Advantage, you should get a separate Medicare card. This will look different than your Original Medicare card.
Medicare Advantage cards look more like private insurance company cards. They have the name of the insurance company and certain policy limits in addition to your personal information.
Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans also issue separate Medicare cards.
It's a good idea to have all of your Medicare cards on hand when you go to the doctor or visit a pharmacy to avoid delays and other payment or service issues.
Frequently asked questions
Can I print my new medicare card online?
Yes, you can print your new Medicare card online through your account on Medicare.gov. If you haven't already set up an account, you may need to log into your Social Security account first to find your Medicare number.
How can I find my medicare number?
Your Medicare number is located on the middle, left-hand side of your Medicare card. It's identified in English and Spanish.
If you've lost your Medicare card, you can find your Medicare number by logging into your Medicare.gov or Social Security account. You can also call 1-800 Medicare (1-800-633-4227) or TTY 1-877-486-2048.
Do you automatically get a Medicare card when you turn 65?
Yes, you automatically get a Medicare card in the mail three months before you turn 65, unless you choose to delay your Social Security benefits.
In that case, you must manually sign up for Medicare. You'll get your Medicare card in the mail two weeks after you enroll.