Medicare Card

Your red, white, and blue Medicare card is important proof of your coverage. It includes your Medicare number and a start date for Part A and B.

In April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) started sending out new cards to replace the old ones. These cards no longer list beneficiaries’ Social Security numbers as their Medicare account number but instead use a unique, randomly assigned 11-digit Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that is not related to your Social Security number. The move is intended to help combat identity theft and protect Medicare beneficiaries.

The red, white, and blue Medicare card displays your government-acknowledged name, Medicare claims number, and when you began coverage. The card also indicates what type of Medicare coverage you have: hospital insurance (Medicare Part A), medical insurance (Medicare Part B), and prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D). If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or have additional private insurance to cover gaps in original Medicare, you will receive a card from the insurer that covers these benefits.

You should carry your card when visiting doctors, hospitals, testing labs, and other health care providers. In many cases, these providers will ask to see your Medicare card before providing service to ensure you’re covered under the right Medicare plan. Some people have reported that scammers have been targeting them by attempting to steal their Medicare cards. These scammers may try to use a beneficiary’s Medicare information to file fraudulent claims or sell it on the dark web.

Medicare Card Replacement
Medicare Card 1

Medicare Card Replacement

You can request a replacement card by using your my Social Security online account or calling the Social Security office. The card usually arrives in 30 days and will be sent to the address on file with the Social Security Administration. It is important to keep your Social Security office address up-to-date.

Your Medicare card displays whether you have Part A, Part B, or both coverages and shows the date your Medicare benefits began. The card also provides your doctors, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers with a unique identifier for your medical records.

You should always carry your Medicare card with you to see your doctors and other healthcare providers. This way, you can show your Medicare number and a photo ID to help prevent identity theft or other security breaches. If you have additional coverages such as Medicare Advantage or, a Medicare Part D drug plan, or Medigap insurance, those plans may issue separate cards.

Beware of scammers who will try to use the new, tougher-to-guess Medicare number on your card to steal your personal information and bill Medicare on your behalf. Never give out your Medicare number to people outside of healthcare settings, and only share it with your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider, your insurer, or other people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.

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