Medicare cards are an important document that provide proof of your Medicare insurance. They contain:
- your name
- your Medicare ID number
- coverage information (Part A, Part B, or both)
- coverage dates
As long as you continue paying the required premiums, your Medicare coverage (and your Medicare card) should automatically renew every year.
But there are some exceptions, so it’s always a good idea to review your coverage every year to make sure it still meets your needs. You may even want to review your Medicare coverage annually with a licensed insurance agent.
There are some cases where Medicare renewal doesn’t happen automatically, specifically for Medicare Advantage or stand-alone Part D coverage. Some specific situations include:
- Your plan changes the size of its service area and you live outside that area.
- Your plan doesn’t renew its Medicare contract for the following year.
- Your plan leaves the Medicare program in the middle of the year.
- Your plan’s contract is terminated by Medicare.
If your plan doesn’t automatically renew, you’ll have a special election period. During a special enrollment period for a Medicare Advantage nonrenewal, you can sign up for a Medicare supplement plan or change your coverage to a new Medicare Advantage plan.
If your Part D plan doesn’t renew for the next year, you can choose a new prescription drug plan. if you don’t choose a new one, you may be without drug coverage for the upcoming year. Once you renew your plan, you should receive a new Medicare card.
There are several ways to get a new Medicare card. If you need to replace a card because it’s been damaged or lost, you can sign in to your MyMedicare.gov account and print an official copy of it.
If you need to replace a card because someone unauthorized may be using your plan, call 800-633-4227 (or 877-486-2048 for TTY users). Additional information and steps for how to replace your card are outlined below.
You can request to get a new card through your online account with Social Security by following these steps:
- Go to myMedicare.gov.
- Log in. If you don’t yet have a myMedicare.gov account, go to “Create an Account,” and follow the instructions.
- After logging in, select “Replacement Documents.”
- Select “Mail my replacement Medicare Card”.
- Verify your mailing address. If your address is incorrect, you can update it in on the website.
If you’re unable to use the online service or prefer to go through the replacement process over the phone, call 800-MEDICARE (or 877-486-2048 for TTY users).
If you prefer to see someone in person regarding your new card, visit your local Social Security office.
Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
If you receive Medicare through the Railroad Retirement Board, you will need to request a new card through rrb.gov. You can also contact them through your local Railroad Retirement Board office or at 877-772-5772.
Your new card should arrive in the mail at the address listed with your Social Security number within 30 days. If you don’t receive it in that time period, you may need to correct something in your account. For example, if you moved and didn’t report it to Social Security, you’ll need to change your address before your request for a replacement card can be processed.
If you need to prove that you have Medicare in less than 30 days, you can request temporary proof in the form of a letter. This will typically be received within 10 days. If you need proof immediately, such as for a doctor’s visit or prescription, the best option is to visit your nearest Social Security office.
In general, once you’re enrolled in Medicare, you likely don’t need to do anything to renew your coverage or card each year. However, reviewing your plans annually is an excellent way to ensure that you will continue to be covered.
If your Medicare card has expired, your plan does not get renewed, or you feel anxious because you haven’t yet received a new one, the steps to get your card are relatively quick and easy.