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Applying for a Replacement Medicare Card

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As a Medicare beneficiary, your Medicare card is one of the most important pieces of identification you own and should be guarded carefully. It is proof that you have Medicare and is usually needed to receive Medicare-covered health services. If you need to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged Medicare card, applying for a new Medicare card is simple.

If you need a replacement Medicare card, you can apply through Social Security as described below.

Applying online for a replacement Medicare card

Applying online through the Social Security website is the easiest and fastest way to request a new Medicare card. You may be asked to provide the following:

  • Your full legal name as it is printed on your Medicare card
  • Your Social Security number (even if you are receiving Medicare benefits through a spouse)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your phone number or email address, in case Social Security needs to contact you regarding your request

You may also be asked to provide information to verify your identity, such as your place of birth or your mother’s maiden name. The Social Security website relies on encrypted data to ensure that beneficiary information transmitted online is kept confidential. For security reasons, there is a 30 minute time limit to complete each page on the online application. After 30 minutes, you will be prompted by the website and can request more time to finish if needed.

Other ways to replace a Medicare card

  • Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800- 325- 0778. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM.
  • Visit your local Social Security office. You may use the Social Security Office Locator to find the nearest location to you.

If you are outside of the United States and need to request a replacement Medicare card, you can reach Social Security in the above ways or contact the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. Click here to find information on foreign country services in the area you’re staying. If you are in the Philippines, you may contact the Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO).

When to expect your new Medicare card

Your replacement Medicare card should be mailed to the address on file in roughly 30 days. Make sure that Social Security has your most current mailing address. If you have moved recently, you’ll need to update your address before Social Security can send you a new card.

If you need a replacement Medicare card immediately to receive health services and cannot wait 30 days, you may also request a temporary letter as proof of Medicare entitlement. Visit your local Social Security office to make an in-person request for this letter, which should arrive in about 10 days.

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