Your Medicare ID Cards: From Supplements to Flex Cards
Your Medicare card is the red, white, and blue ticket to receiving Medicare benefits. You may choose to add on a Medicare Supplement or select a Medicare Advantage plan. What do those cards look like, and when will you get them?
We have all the answers to help you prepare for Medicare right here.
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What does the Medicare card look like?
The Original Medicare card is red, white, and blue and shows whether you have Part A (listed as HOSPITAL), Part B (listed as MEDICAL), or both. It also lists the date your coverage begins.
If you have Original Medicare, with or without a Medicare Supplement, you’ll use this card to get Medicare-covered services.
Even if you choose Medicare Advantage, which is an alternative to Original Medicare, you’ll want to keep your red, white, and blue Medicare card. Just put it in a safe place, because you may need it later.
When will I need to use my Medicare card?
Any time you see your health care provider or visit the pharmacy, you’ll want to bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card with you so they can bill Medicare.
Also, if you need to call Medicare for any reason, you’ll want to have your Medicare card in front of you so you are ready to give your Medicare Number to the representative.
When will I get my Medicare card?
If you automatically get Medicare, you’ll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail 3 months before your 65th birthday or 25th month of disability benefits.
Most people won’t have a premium for Part A, and most people choose to keep Part B. But if you don’t want Part B, you need to let Medicare know before the coverage start date on your Medicare card.
If you do nothing, you’ll keep Part B and will have to pay Part B premiums through your Social Security benefits.
If you need help figuring out whether you should enroll in Part B or delay it, please contact our office. We help people weigh the pros and cons of this all the time!
Related: Working Past 65?
How do I get a replacement Medicare card?
If you need to replace your card because it’s damaged or lost, visit Medicare.gov to log into (or create) your secure Medicare account. There, you have the option to print or order an official copy of your Medicare card.
You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE and ask for a replacement card to be sent in the mail.
Another option is to visit ssa.gov/myaccount to open a personal “my Social Security” account. In this account, you can request a replacement Medicare card, but you can also do things like review your Social Security Statement, verify your earnings, change your direct deposit information, and update your address.
If you need to replace your card because you think that someone else is using your Medicare Number, call 1-800-MEDICARE.
If you get benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you’ll need to call them to replace your Medicare card at 1-877-772-5772. TTY users can call 1-312-751-4701.
What does a Medicare Supplement card look like?
When you sign up for a Medicare Supplement, which supplements your Original Medicare coverage, you’ll get an ID card.
When you visit your provider, you’ll need to show your Medicare ID card and your Medicare Supplement ID card.
What does a Part D prescription drug plan card look like?
If you have a Part D prescription drug plan, you'll also have a Member ID card that you'll use at the pharmacy when you fill your prescriptions. This card comes from the insurance company you buy the Part D plan from (not Medicare).
These cards look something like this:
For the most part, Part D plans use your Medicare ID number for record keeping, so you may be able to use your red, white, and blue Medicare ID card to fill prescriptions before you get your Part D card.
What does a Medicare Advantage card look like?
If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan or other Medicare health plan, in most cases, you’ll use your plan’s card to get your Medicare-covered services.
Your Medicare Advantage card will typically include:
- Company Name
- Plan Type (PPO, HMO, MSA, etc.)
- Member’s Full Name
- ID #
- Plan #
- Plan Name
- Card Issue Date
- Rx Information if your plan comes with prescription drug benefits
The back of the card will include contact information, including phone numbers for members and providers and a claims address. The back of the card might also have extra benefit information, like dental, vision, and hearing information.
Medicare Advantage plan cards are very similar to Member ID cards you have from employer group plans when you’re under age 65.
Medicare Advantage flex cards
Some Medicare Advantage plans come with flex cards, which are similar to debit cards and can be used to select items and services. The amount loaded onto the card and what you can use it for depends on the specific plan.
You can read more about flex cards in Decatur, IL here: What Medicare Plans Offer Flex Cards in Decatur, IL?
What about Medicaid cards?
If you have Medicaid, you’ll have a Medicaid ID card that you will need to show to your provider. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan in addition to Medicaid, you’ll need to show both cards so your provider knows you may have additional coverage.
In this situation, your services would be paid first by your Medicare Advantage plan and then by Medicaid.
In conclusion, your Medicare cards are vital pieces of identification that grant you access to your Medicare benefits.
Understanding what your cards look like and when you should expect to receive them will help streamline the process of getting your Medicare benefits.
The Medicare Checklist for Ages 66+
Most Medicare info on the web is for those who are new to Medicare. But what about those of us who are seasoned consumers? There’s a few things to know, and this short guide will walk you through them.Get Yours Free