You may have one or more Medicare-related cards. For example, around three months after you turn 65, you’ll get a red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail indicating whether you have Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance) or both (which together are called “Original Medicare”).
You’ll get another card if you select a Part D Medicare prescription drug plan. And, those how decide to join a Medicare Advantage Plan, receive a different card. Individuals who have a Medigap policy will also get a card evidencing coverage under that program.
Here’s what to do if any of your Medicare-related cards get stolen, lost or destroyed.
Check Your Eligibility
Replacing a Stolen, Lost, or Destroyed Medicare Card
If you have Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) and you need to replace a stolen, lost, or destroyed card, you can:
- go online at the Social Security website (www.ssa.gov)
- call 1-800-772-1213 (if you use a TTY device, call 1-800-325-0778), or
- go to your local Social Security office.
No matter how you request your new card, it usually takes about 30 days to get the replacement.
Making Your Request Online
Making your request for a new card online is probably the easiest way to get a replacement Medicare card. It’s a simple process through a secure website. All you have to do is fill out the online application to get the new card.
Making Your Request By Phone
Sometimes, however, people prefer to make the request by phone. If you make your request by telephone, you might have a long wait time before you get through to talk to someone. However, you will eventually get to speak to a representative and once you do that, you’ll know that the process of getting a new card has begun. This won’t speed up the process, but it might give you peace of mind.
Also, if you need your proof that you have Medicare sooner than 30 days (say, you have a doctor’s appointment in the interim), you’ll be able to request a letter to this effect from the representative, which you’ll receive in approximately ten days. In most cases, your doctor or other health care provider will accept the letter as proof that you have coverage under Medicare.
Check Your Eligibility
Making Your Request In Person at a Social Security Office
On the other hand, if you immediately need to present evidence that you have Medicare to a health care provider or to get a prescription (and can’t wait ten days for the letter to arrive), you should go to your local Social Security Office. Be prepared for long lines though.
Replacing a Stolen, Lost, or Damaged Medicare Advantage Plan Card or Part D Card
Those who have a Medicare Advantage Plan (or another Medicare health plan) should contact their plan provider to get a replacement card.
You should also contact your plan provider if your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan card is stolen, lost, or destroyed.