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Your Medicare health insurance card is proof of your enrollment in the Original Medicare which covers Part A and Part B. Therefore, to access the services and care covered by Medicare, you need your Medicare card.

You are eligible for Medicare coverage once you have turned 65. Therefore, you should enroll yourself during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). Here are the three times when IEP enrollments are open: 

  • 3 months before your 65th birthday 
  • The month of your 65th birthday 
  • 3 months after your 65th birthday

Within 30 days after enrolling in Medicare, you will receive your Medicare health insurance card after approval. However, on losing your card, you can request a new one through the Social Security Website. 

In this blog, you discuss how to get a new Medicare health card.

When will you receive your Medicare card?

You will receive your Medicare card on the following three conditions: 

1. If you have retirement benefits:

About three months before turning 65, you will get your Medicare health insurance card if you have retirement benefits through Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) or Social Security (SS). If you are receiving SS benefits, then you will be qualified for Part A Medicare by default. However, you will have to enroll in Part B after turning 65. 

2. If you are covered by disability benefits: 

If you are covered by disability benefits through Social Security or RRB, then after 24 months of developing the disability, you immediately get enrolled in Original Medicare. Hence, you will get the Medicare health insurance in 25th month of getting the disability. 

3. If you are reaching the age 65 and still not receiving retirement benefits: 

Not everyone enrolls in Medicare health plans by default. Therefore, you must enroll in the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) when you approach 65. Enroll yourself in Medicare Part A and B during IEP, which starts running three months before your 65th birthday and lasts for seven months. After signing, you shall acquire your medicare health card 30 days after approval. Check long-term healthcare guide for long-term insurance guideline.

How and where to apply for a Medicare card? 

Below are three manual ways through which you can enroll in Medicare: 

  • Website – Social Security
  • By phoning the Railroad Retirement Board if you have worked at a railroad or the toll-free number of Social Security 
  • Through the local Social Security office 

How does Medicare card replacement work? 

In case your Medicare card is lost, stolen, or damaged, and you wish to replace it, you will be required to give some basic personal information to get a new Medicare health insurance card: 

  • Social Security number 
  • Date of birth 
  • Phone number 
  • Full name

You must update your mailing address because your medical card replacements are always sent to the mail address you have submitted in the file. It takes around 30 days for your new Medicare health card to reach your mail. 

However, if you need to access a Medicare-covered health service or treatment urgently while your card is lost, contact the Social Security office for assistance.

Using your Medicare card 

When visiting a health care provider or doctor for the first time after enrolling in a Medicare health plan, you will need to show your original Medicare card. They will make several copies of it for their use as well.

When handling your Medicare card, you have to follow the given rules: 

  • Some doctors, pharmacies, or labs may always require your original Medicare card every time you visit. 
  • Make sure to give copies of your updated medication card to your doctor if you have made any changes. 
  • Never give your Medicare card or Medicare ID number to people other than your healthcare providers or doctors, so stay alert 
  • When calling Medicare for queries, keep your Medicare card with you. 

Furthermore, report to the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Hotline or local authorities if you suspect someone has exploited your Medicare health insurance card. 


Your Medicare health card is necessary to access any Medicare-covered service or care, so keep it safe and secure to prevent any mishap. 

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