How to Get a Replacement Medicare Card

Your red, white, and blue Original Medicare card is your proof of Medicare, Medicare Advantage plan, or prescription drug plan coverage. You need your card when receiving services or having prescriptions filled. If your card is lost, damaged, or stolen you can get a replacement card.  You can also get temporary proof of coverage while waiting for your new Medicare card.

Methods for Ordering a New Medicare Card

Online Request

You can request a replacement Medicare card online. Log on to your online Social Security account. If you do not have an online Social Security account, you can create one at ssa.gov.

From your account page, click on the tab labeled “Replacement Documents.”  From that page, click on “Mail My Replacement Medicare Card.”  Follow the instructions to complete and confirm your request for a replacement card.

Request Replacement By Telephone/TTY

You can also make your request for a replacement Medicare card by telephone. Call the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213 (or by TTY at 1-800-325-0778). Phone service is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  You can complete your request over the phone.

Request Replacement In Person at Your Social Security Office

You can also request a replacement Medicare card in person. Visit your local Social Security office.  The staff on-site will assist with your replacement request.

When You Should Expect Your Replacement Card or Temporary Letter

New Permanent Replacement Card By Mail in Approximately 30 Days

The USPS will deliver your replacement Medicare card to your address on file in about 30 days.

Letter as Temporary Proof of Coverage By Mail in About 10 Days When Requested By Phone

If you need proof of Medicare coverage before your replacement card arrives, you can request a temporary coverage letter. You can use this letter at doctor appointments and for prescriptions until your new card arrives. You can call Social Security (1-800-772-1213/TTY 1-800-325-0778) to request a temporary coverage letter. Social Security will mail the letter to you in about 10 days at your address on file with Social Security.

Letter as Temporary Proof of Coverage Immediately When Requested In Person

If you are unable to wait 10 days for the replacement letter by mail, visit your local Social Security office in person. The staff in the office will provide you a temporary proof of coverage letter.

Replacement Requirements for Beneficiaries under Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)

There is a different procedure if you receive Medicare benefits through the Railroad Retirement Board. You should call the Railroad Retirement Board to request a replacement Medicare card. USPS will deliver the requested replacement card in about 30 days.

Information You Will Need When Requesting a Replacement Medicare Card

Primary Identification Information

You will need the following identification information available at the time of your request:

  • Full Name as Shown On Your Most Recent Social Security Card
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Date of Birth

Other Security Identification Information

You may also need to provide other personal information, such as your mother’s maiden name.  These requests are for your protection and to prevent Medicare fraud and abuse.

Information to Confirm When Ordering a Replacement Medicare Card

Be sure to confirm the contact information that the Social Security Administration has on file for you.  Confirm and update as needed your phone number, email address, and mailing address.  It is very important that you confirm your current mailing address exactly.  Social Security will mail your replacement card to the address on file.

Steps for Future Protection

Store Your Replacement Card in a Safe Place

Your Medicare card and other health insurance cards are very important to your continuing health care needs.  When you receive your replacement Medicare card, keep it in a safe location at home.  Do not carry your card when you are not using it for medical appointments or filling prescriptions.  Make a photocopy of your card and other insurance and identification cards. Keep your medicare number handy as well.

Review Records to Protect Against Fraud

Always be sure to review all Medicare Summary Notices.  Confirm that all listed services were actually received by you on the date listed.  Report any unexpected or suspicious service notifications to Social Security.

If you have any questions or need more information about applying for Medicare coverage, please get in touch with the Social Security Administration.

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