How to Replace Your Medicare Card 

Lost your card? Card expired? Have no fear—getting a new card is a cinch!

Misplacing your Medicare card can be distressing: you need it every time you go to the doctor. But stuff happens. Cards get lost all the time, and though it can be a little annoying to get a replacement card, it’s a lot easier than you think. And remember: losing your card does not mean losing your Medicare benefits.

You have several options for replacing your card quickly. Plus, you’ll get a temporary card in the meantime. So breathe a sigh of relief, and let’s jump in. 

How to Replace Your Medicare Card

If you lost your Medicare card, have no fear. You haven’t lost your health insurance, and replacing your card is easy. You have three options when it comes to replacing your medicare card:

  1. Order it online
  2. Order it over the phone
  3. Order it in person*

You can order your new card online by logging into your Social Security account on the Social Security website, SSA.gov. Once you’ve logged in:

  1. Click “Replacement Documents
  2. Click “Mail My Replacement Medicare Card
  3. Complete the instructions and send in your request.

Be sure to verify your mailing address before you send the card. You can also print an official copy of your Medicare card to use while you wait for your replacement to come in the mail. 

If you want to speak to a person, you can call in your request. Call phone number 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048. Follow the prompts when you call. The typical wait time is very short, and the customer service representatives are helpful and courteous. 

Finally, if you want to order your card in person, you can. You’ll need to go to your local Social Security Administration office. We do not recommend going in person if at all possible while there is community spread of the coronavirus. You can call your local office for more information about special hours and precautions you should take due to COVID-19

How Long Does It Take to Get a New Medicare Card?

Once you’ve submitted your request, it typically takes 30 days to receive your new card in the mail. Until you receive your card, you can print a temporary card from your SSA account online or at MyMedicare.gov

You can also save a digital copy of your Medicare card and send it via email to your doctor’s office—if they accept a digital record.  

Once you get your new card, be sure to store it in a safe place. Keeping your Medicare things together—like your Medicare card, your Medicare Supplement card, and other medical-related information—is a good idea. 

How Do I Change My Medicare Number?

Your Medicare number, also called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier, is unique to you and should be kept confidential. If you’re concerned about your Medicare number being compromised, you can request to have your Medicare number changed. Please contact Medicare by phone or at your local Social Security office. 

FAQ: My Medicare Card Replacement

Should I wait for my replacement card before going to the doctor?

You don’t have to wait for your new Medicare insurance card. Your health care provider may already have your information on file if you’ve been there before. Your health care provider may be able to help you look up your Medicare number. And don’t forget that you can print a temporary card from your MyMedicare.gov account.  

What if I have Medicare Advantage?

If you have Medicare Advantage, you will receive a Medicare Advantage plan ID—much like the insurance plan card you had before Medicare. To replace your Medicare Advantage ID card, simply contact your insurance company for your replacement card. You can likely order your card online and even print a temporary copy. However, you still want to keep your Original Medicare card. You may need your card for health services and/or identification. If you ever decide to drop Medicare Advantage, your Original Medicare card will become your primary health plan ID again. 

What if I lost my Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) card?

Your Medicare Part D plan is fulfilled by a private health insurance company. You should contact the health insurance company that services your prescription drug plan. Often you can replace your card quickly by filling out a form online or calling. 

What if Medicare called me?

There are very few scenarios where Medicare would call you. Even in the event that a Medicare representative calls you, you will never be asked for your personal information over the phone.  Beware of scammers: Medicare fraud is very common. If you ever have any doubt that the person who has called you is truly from Medicare, just hang up. Then, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY 1-877-486-2048 to report the incident. 

What is my Medicare number?

Your Medicare number is a unique-to-you number. It is not the same as your Social Security number. You can find your Medicare number on your Medicare card just below your name. You can also find your card number by logging into your MyMedicare.gov account.  Remember: protect your Medicare number. Only give it to your health care professionals. Beware of giving out your number over the phone or to someone you don’t know. 

How do I replace my Social Security card?

If you also need to replace your Social Security card, you can do so by logging into your My Social Security Account online. From your Overview page, scroll down to “Social Security Card Replacement” and fill out the form. Your new card should arrive in 7 to 12 days.  You can also call Social Security at your local Social Security office. A representative there can help you find the best way to replace your Social Security card. 

How do I contact Medicare?

Medicare contact information:

Phone Number 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY 1-877-486-2048
Website www.medicare.gov
Address Medicare Contact Center Operations
PO Box 1270
Lawrence, KS 66044

Conclusion: Losing Your Card Never Means Losing Medicare Coverage

Your Medicare card is important. It should be kept in a safe place (not your wallet). However, losing your card is not the end of the world. You are still eligible for your Medicare health benefits, and you won’t risk losing coverage. 

Just order a new card in the way that best fits your needs, get a temporary replacement, and take good care of your new card

Updated September 17, 2020

J.J. Starr is a financial copywriter and enjoys helping readers find the information they need. In addition to her background in banking and financial advising, she is also a poet with an MFA from New York University. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. You can learn more at jjstarrwrites.com.