How to Find Your Medicare Number Without Your Card
If you've been approved or automatically qualified for Medicare, you will have received a Medicare card in the mail along with your welcome package that contains your Medicare number, a number that’s unique to you.
In order to protect your identity, your Medicare number is not the same number as your Social Security Number.
This card will also contain the date your Medicare coverage begins, and it will either have Medicare Part A, which will be listed on the card as "HOSPITAL", Medicare Part B which will be listed on the card as "MEDICAL", or both.
If for whatever reason you did not receive your Medicare card or number, or you have misplaced it, replacing it is easy and secure.
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Why Do I Need My Medicare Number and Card?
Your Medicare number identifies you to providers, insurers, and government agencies, so it's important to keep it safe and secure.
There are a few reasons you may need to show your Medicare card or provide your Medicare number:
- You will need your Medicare card to join a Medicare health or drug plan or to buy Medicare Supplemental Insurance.
- Your Medicare card serves as proof of your eligibility for health benefits. When visiting a doctor or hospital, bring your card with you so that the provider can bill Medicare correctly.
- When signing up for prescription drug coverage, you will need to provide your Medicare number so that the insurer knows who is covered by the plan.
- In some cases, you may also need to use your Medicare number to get financial assistance from an organization like Social Security.
Keeping track of both your Medicare number and card can save time and hassle down the line when seeking medical care or enrolling in government assistance plans.
When Will I Receive My Medicare Card?
Generally it will take about three months after you are approved for Medicare coverage to receive your Medicare card and it will come in the mail along with your welcome package.
You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65 if you are already receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits.
In that case, you will typically receive your card three months prior to your 65th birthday or just before the 25th month of receiving disability benefits.
If it has been longer than expected, you may need to contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to check the status of your card.
Should I Carry My Card with Me?
If you have original Medicare (Part A or Part B) you should carry your Medicare card with you at all times so that you can show it to your doctor, hospital, or other healthcare providers when needed.
Also, carry any Medicare drug plan or supplemental coverage plan cards with you.
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or any other supplemental Medicare-approved health plan, you only need to carry that plan's card with you. Not your original Medicare card.
But save your original Medicare card in a place that you won't forget in case you later switch back to the original Medicare.
It may also be a good idea to keep a copy of your card(s) in a secure location such as a safe or locked drawer in case it gets lost or stolen.
Protect Your Medicare Number Like a Credit Card
Protecting your Medicare Number is just as important as protecting your credit card. It’s important to keep it safe from potential identity thieves who may use it for fraudulent purposes.
The best way to protect your Medicare Number is to treat it like a credit card. Never share it over the phone or online with someone who reaches out in an unsolicited call or email.
Only share it with a trusted provider like your health care provider, your insurance company, or your State Health Insurance Assistance Program, if you've reached out to them first.
If you think that someone else is using your Medicare Number, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to report the suspicious activity.
And if you feel like think you may have given personal information to someone you shouldn't have, or have reason to suspect someone has stolen your identity, you'll need to contact the Federal Trade Commission.
How Do I Find My Medicare Number?
If you have your card, your Medicare number will be the unique 11-digit number on the front of the card.
If you don't have your card and you need your Medicare number right away, it is easy to find by logging into your MyMedicare.gov account. Let's take a look at a few different scenarios.
I never received my card
By default, your card will be mailed in your welcome packet from Medicare to the address you have on file with Social Security. If you never received your card after being approved, there may be a problem with the address on file.
Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or log into your secure My Social Security account to check that the address on file is correct, update it if necessary, and order a new Medicare card.
In the meantime, you can sign in to your MyMedicare.gov account to find your Medicare number or print an official copy of your card.
I lost my Medicare card/it was stolen
If you are unable to locate your Medicare card, you can sign in to your MyMedicare.gov account to find your Medicare number, print an official copy of your card, or request a replacement. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE to order a replacement card by mail.
Alternatively, you can go into the Social Security Administration Office if you need a replacement right away and don't have online access or call the SSA’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 weekdays from 7 am - 7 pm and speak with one of their representatives.
If you think your Medicare number has been stolen or compromised, contact Medicare immediately at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to avoid any fraudulent activity.
My name changed
The name on your Medicare card will match the name you have on file with the Social Security Administration.
If you change your name, make sure to notify Social Security so they can update your record and send you a new Medicare card.
Misplacing your Medicare card or not knowing where to find your Medicare number can be frustrating, but luckily, it's not difficult to get a new one.
With Medicare's online portal, you can easily retrieve your Medicare number, print a replacement card, and get back to your healthcare routine!
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