When you’re enrolled in Medicare, you’ll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail. If you're automatically enrolled, you'll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail 3 months before your 65th birthday or your 25th month of getting disability benefits. Your Medicare card shows that you have Medicare health insurance. It shows whether you have Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance) or both, and it shows the date your coverage starts.
Be sure to carry your card with you when you’re away from home. Let your doctor, hospital, or other health care provider see your card when you need hospital, medical or other health services.
New Medicare cards are coming
Medicare is mailing new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare starting in April 2018.
10 things to know about your new Medicare card
- Your new card will automatically come to you. You don’t need to do anything as long as your address is up to date. If you need to update your address, visit your mySocial Security account.
- Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity.
- Your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
- Mailing takes time. Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
- Your new card is paper, which is easier for many providers to use and copy.
- Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away.
- If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare—you should still keep and use it whenever you need care. However, you also may be asked to show your new Medicare card, so you should carry this card too.
- Doctors, other health care providers and facilities know it’s coming and will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care, so carry it with you.
- Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
- If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.
Watch out for scams
Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare Number) by contacting you about your new card. If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang up and call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Learn more about the limited situations in which Medicare can call you.
How can I replace my Medicare card?
If your Medicare card is lost, stolen or damaged, you can ask Social Security for a new one.
- Your Medicare card will arrive in the mail in about 30 days.
- Social Security will mail your card to the address they have on file for you.
- If you need proof that you have Medicare sooner than 30 days, you can request a letter from Social Security. The letter will arrive in the mail in about 10 days.
- If you need proof immediately for your doctor or for a prescription, visit your local Social Security office.
How do I change my name or address?
Medicare uses the name and address you have on file with Social Security. To change your name and/or address, visit your online my Social Security account.
Medicare is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Social Security works with CMS by enrolling people in Medicare.