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Updated onMay. 18, 2022

How To Replace A Stolen Medicare Card

There are many reasons why someone may try to steal your Medicare card. Among them are to obtain their own medical care using your information, to purchase drugs, or to create fake billings to Medicare in your name, according to the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Whatever the circumstances may be, there are steps you can take to replace your stolen Medicare card and reduce the risk of identity theft.

medicare enrollment form

In the past, this was much easier because your Medicare number—the one listed on the face of your Medicare card—was the same as your Social Security Number. As with any document or card that contains your SSN, this put you at an elevated risk of someone stealing your card.

In an effort to reduce the risk of theft, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services began issuing new Medicare cards with the SSNs removed. This initiative started in April 2018 and it will continue until April 2019, which is when all Medicare cards have been effectively replaced.

While this should help limit the appeal of obtaining your Medicare card, there remains the possibility that it could be stolen. What should you do if this happens to you?

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, if your Original Medicare card is stolen, lost, or destroyed, you should sign into your online Social Security account, select the “Replacement Documents” tab, and choose the “Mail my replacement Medicare Card” option.

Upon receiving your request, your new Medicare card will be mailed to the address the agency has on file for you and you can expect to receive it in approximately 30 days. If you don’t have an online account or wish to speak with someone at Medicare directly, you can call them at (800) 772-1213 (TTY: 800-325-0778). Representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Another option is to contact your local Social Security Office and request a new card through them. If you’re unsure how to do that, the Social Security Administration has a free online search you can use to identify your local office. Once you enter your zip code, the site will give you the information for the one in your area. This includes providing its address, phone number, and hours of operation.

Also, after making your request for a new Medicare card, MyMedicare.gov notes that you can check on its status by signing into your account and clicking on the “Order History” tab. This will tell you where your replacement card is in the process.

If you receive Medicare benefits through the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you can request a new card with this agency by completing an online request form. This form requires that you share your:

If you need proof that you have Medicare before it arrives, contact your local RRB office and they can give that to you.

  • Full name
  • RRB claim number
  • SSN
  • Email address
  • Complete mailing address

Once your request is received, a new card will be mailed to you within 30 days. If you need proof that you have Medicare before it arrives, contact your local RRB office and they can give that to you. If you’re not sure how to get in touch with your local office, the RRB provides an online search you can use to find this information. Simply enter your zip code and you will be provided with the address and telephone number for the RRB office closest to you.

In the event that you have Medicare Advantage—a Medicare plan offered through a private insurance provider—you will need to contact your insurance provider directly and let them know that your card has been stolen. Each provider has a different process for dealing with this type of situation, so it’s important to ask what you need to do in the event that someone has taken your card.

Additional Medicare Card Protection Advice

who qualifies for medicare

Medicare.gov offers additional advice that can be helpful when it comes to adequately protecting your Medicare card. This includes not revealing your Medicare card information to anyone who requests it via phone, email, or in person. Instead, the only people you should give this information to are the following:

No one from Medicare will ever call you and request this information.

  • Your healthcare team (doctors, specialists, etc.)
  • Insurers you currently use
  • Individuals in your community who work directly with Medicare (like those associated with the State Health Insurance Assistance Program)

Additionally, if someone calls you and requests your card information, hang up immediately. No one from Medicare will ever call you and request this information. After hanging up, call Medicare at (800) 633-4227 and let them know what happened.

In the event that you have already provided this information to someone you now suspect may want to use it illegally, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. You can do this online by selecting the type of complaint you want to file (such as identity theft or scams) and entering the requested information.

It’s also important to check over your medical bills, Medicare Summary Notices, and Explanation of Benefits to make sure they’re accurate. In the event that you notice something suspicious or suspect that you may be a victim of medical fraud, you can contact any of the following agencies for help:

  • Medicare Call Center at (800) 633-4227 (TTY: 877-486-20148)
  • OIG Hotline at (800) 447-8477 (TTY: 800-377-4950) or via email at [email protected]
  • Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Hotline at (877) 438-4338 (TTY: 866-653-4261)