You’re going through your wallet at the grocery store, ready to check out, and something is wrong. Your Medicare card, which you always keep in the same spot, is gone!
Losing your Medicare card can cause you to panic. The effect could be even worse if you know the card has been stolen. What should you do? Can you get another card or will you be fined? What if you have a medical emergency while it’s gone? These are all very common questions and concerns, and luckily, the solution is quite simple!
No matter what form of Medicare you may have, getting a new Medicare card is easy. But keep in mind, replacing the card isn’t the only thing to consider, depending on why you need to get a new card.
Getting a New Medicare Card for Original Medicare
Beneficiaries with Original Medicare can request a new card in a few places. First, you can sign into MyMedicare.gov, where you’ll be able to find and print a copy of your Original Medicare card. You can also go to the Social Security Administration’s website, SSA.gov, and sign into your my Social Security account. From there, navigate to the “Replacement Documents” page and select “Mail my replacement Medicare Card.”
If you’re unable to, or do not wish to, request a new Original Medicare card online, you have two other options. First, you can contact or visit your local Social Security office, which can help you request a new card. The other option is to call Social Security at 1-800-722-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) anytime between 7 AM to 7 PM Monday through Friday.
You should receive your new Original Medicare card in the mail within 30 days.
Once you’ve requested your replacement card, you should receive your new Original Medicare card in the mail within 30 days. If you need your Medicare details sooner than 30 days, you can request a letter that may act as a temporary proof of enrollment. This letter should arrive in around 10 days. These items will be sent to the address that Social Security has on file for you.
Note: If you enrolled in Medicare through the Railroad Retirement Board, you must request a replacement card on RRB.gov, by calling 1-877-772-5772 (TTY 1-312-751-4701), or by contacting your local Railroad Retirement Board office.
Replacing Your Medicare Advantage, Part D, or Med Supp Card
If you receive Medicare benefits through a private company, like a Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, or Medicare Supplement insurance carrier, you’ll need to call your carrier’s customer service hotline or visit their website. From there, you should be able to request a replacement card, which should arrive at your address within 30 days.
What to Do If Your Medicare Card is Lost or Stolen
If your card is lost or stolen, you’ll want to report that the card was lost or stolen and get a new card. You’ll also need to watch out for Medicare fraud.
To do this, closely monitor your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB) that you receive every three months or after receiving services, respectively. These notices list services provided, the amount your Medicare coverage paid, and how much the beneficiary (you) must pay.
If you notice any services or claims on the MSN or EOB that you didn’t receive or ask for, report it immediately by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227, TTY 1-877-486-2048). Inform them that you’ve found a concerning claim. You may also report it online.
Store a Copy in a Safe Place
Finally, it’s a good idea to make a copy of your Medicare card, or record any important Medicare numbers or identifiers, so that you still have them should you lose or damage the card. While your primary care physician should have your Medicare information on file should you need to visit before getting a new card, it’s smart to have the information available on the off-chance that you need it.
If you do make a copy of your Medicare information, it’s essential that you keep it in a safe, secure location. Specifically, a safe or lockbox are good for important documents like those that contain your Medicare information, passports, or Social Security cards. Securing your personally identifiable information is the best course of action to take to protect yourself from identity theft.
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Losing your Medicare card can be scary because you’re at risk for fraud and having your personal information stolen. The anxiety is heightened if you know for sure your card has been stolen. But, if you watch for fraud and request a new card, you should be able to get things back to normal quickly!