How to Get a Replacement Medicare Card

Posted by Elliot Marks

If your Medicare card is stolen, lost, or too damaged, you can get a new card at the Social Security Administration (SSA) or, in some cases, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Luckily, if you do need a new card, there are a few options for getting it depending on how fast you need the replacement.

Method 1: Replacing a Medicare Card in Person

In order to replace your Medicare card, you will first need to find your Social Security Number, your name as it's shown on your recent Social Security card, and your birth date.

Step 1

Use our website to locate the closest Social Security office to you. Once you find an SSA office nearby, you should make note of the office's address and phone number.

Find Your Local SSA Office

Step 2

Call or visit your local SSA office during its hours of operation in order to request your replacement Medicare card. If you worked for the railroad, you are able to request a new card through the RRB by calling between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, except Wednesday. On Wednesday, the hours are 9 a.m. to noon.

Method 2: Replacing a Medicare Card Online

It's also possible to file your request for a replacement Medicare card online by visiting the Social Security Administration's website. You can put in a request at any time, but you do need to have an account created. If you don’t currently have an account created online, you will need to create one on the website before you can request a new card.

Method 3: Printing a Replacement Medicare Card

In April 2018, Medicare started mailing out new Medicare cards to all beneficiaries, which had unique numbers on them that were different from Social Security Numbers. Doing this now allows for people to be able to print a replacement card from home. You can print a temporary or permanent replacement card through, while you wait for your replacement to arrive in the mail.

On the website you should see links to view or print your Medicare card. Some states may not yet allow for self-printing replacement cards and may only have the option to send a new card by mail. If this is the case for your state, you will have to check back later to see when you can print yours.

These new cards can be used right away and you don't need to use your old Medicare card.

After Requesting Your Replacement Medicare Card

After you make the request for a new card, the card may take up to 30 days to get to you. While you are making the request, double-check to make sure that the Social Security office or RRB has your correct address on file, since it will mail the cards to that address. Keep in mind that you will not be able to get another replacement card if you have gotten one in the last 30 days. This is for your protection to help prevent fraud.

Since it can take up to 30 days to get your card, you may need something to use in the mean time. If self-printing a temporary replacement as described in Method 3 above doesn't work, you can also request a letter to use as temporary proof of your coverage while a replacement card is en route. This letter should arrive in the mail in 10 days. In order to get proof of coverage immediately for either a prescription or a doctor visit, it's best to visit an SSA office to request your replacement card in person rather than applying for a replacement online.

Replacing a Lost Medicare Card for Your Health Plan

If you are also enrolled in a separate Medicare health plan, or have a Medicare supplement plan, there may be a membership card that is in addition to your original card. If you lose your card for the plan, such as Medicare Advantage, you will need to know the contact information for the plan in order to get a new card. You should not go to either the SSA or RRB in this instance.

If you have lost your card or it's been stolen, then you also need to keep an eye out for fraud. Check your summary for any services you didn't receive and report them. To avoid this happening, try to keep any insurance cards and important information in a safe space.

Elliot Marks

Elliot Marks

Author & Social Security Advisor

Elliot Marks has spent over 10 years providing clear and concise information to help Americans navigate the complex nuances of social security and many other government services in the United States. Elliot has a passion for helping those in need of these services to be able to find timely access to news and information that is relevant and helpful to their daily lives.