Medicare Cards & Replacement Cards

After you join Medicare, they mail you a red, white, and blue Medicare card.

It shows that Medicare Part A and Part B both protect you, and when the coverage comes into effect.

Medicare Card

Carry it with you at all times in case you need emergency medical attention.

Even if you are only getting routine testing or an annual physical, you will need to present your card.

When You Receive Your New Medicare Card – Original Medicare

Automatic Enrollment

Medicare automatically enrolls you in Part A and Part B, and mails an ID card when:

  • You turn 65 and already receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits. Typically, coverage begins the first day of the month you turn 65. Cards arrive approximately 3 months before your 65th birthday.
  • You are 65 and received Social Security Disability benefits for the past 24 months. Coverage starts and the card arrives in the 25th month of receiving benefits.
  • If you have ALS. Medicare starts the same month as your disability benefits.

Manual Enrollment

If you do not qualify for automatic Medicare enrollment, it's easy to sign up.

Initial Enrollment Period

If you're almost 65 and do not currently receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, you can enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period. Your card will arrive within 30 days of approval.

  • Enrollment period begins 3 months before you turn 65
  • Continues during the month you turn 65
  • Period ends 3 months after the month you turned 65

End-Stage Renal Disease

  • Medicare permits manual enrollment anytime before age 65
  • Your Medicare card will arrive the same month your disability begins

Medicare Advantage ID Cards

If you have Medicare Advantage, use the card the insurance company sends as your primary ID. Still, it's wise to carry your Original Medicare card, too, because some providers will ask for it.

If your prescription drug plan is separate, bring that card with you also.

Replacement Medicare Cards

It's easy to get a replacement Medicare ID card.

Lost or Damaged

  • Simply log on to and print a new, official copy of your card.
  • If you do not have an account yet, it just takes a moment to set one up.

Stolen or ID Theft

  • Report a stolen card to Medicare. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.
  • Medicare ID numbers are unique to you. They do not use your Social Security Number. If stolen, Medicare will issue a new one.
  • If you think someone used your Medicare card without your permission, contact the FTC ID Theft hotline 1-877-438-4338 (TTY 1-877-486-2048).
  • You can also visit your Social Security Office for help.

Your Medicare replacement card will appear within 30 days.

If you need your Medicare card immediately, request that Medicare send you a coverage letter to use as temporary proof, or visit your Social Security office.

Medicare Scams

Medicare warns beneficiaries to watch out for scams.

Scammers will ask for your personal information, like your Social Security or Medicare number.

Neither Medicare nor Medicare-approved insurance plans like Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplements will ever ask for your personal information on the phone, to pay money, or threaten to cancel your health benefits.

If someone calls asking for this information, hang up and report the number and call details to Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Where Can I Get Help with Medicare Cards?

AARDY is here to help you with all things Medicare.

AARDY is the nation's fastest Medicare insurance marketplace. You can compare Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Prescription Drug plans to find the one that best fits your needs.


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