So You Need to Replace Your Medicare Card?

How to Replace Your Medicare Card

Occasionally, it may be necessary to replace your Medicare card. Why, you may ask, is my Medicare card made of paper rather than plastic? And that would be a great question! The government has apparently spent too much money on $640.00 toilet seats for the military to be able to afford the expense of providing seniors with a plastic or laminated Medicare card. And so, after your card spends a few months in a pocket or handbag, or after a trip through the washing machine, it may become necessary to order a replacement.

It will probably surprise you to find that to replace your Medicare card you will need to contact Social Security. You can do this by logging onto your online “my Social Security” account and then by following this procedure:

  • First click on the “Replace Documents” tab
  • Then click on “Mail My Replacement Medicare Card”

(If you don’t have an online account with Social Security, you can create one. Simply go to “Create an Account“.

Within thirty days, your pristine, albeit flimsy, Medicare card will arrive in the mail. A trip to an office supply store to have the card laminated might be a good final step. This may prevent you from having to replace your Medicare card again anytime soon.

If you are not able to order online, you may phone Social Security directly. Phone Monday through Friday between 7:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. at 1-800-722-1213 to order a replacement. (TTY 1-800-325-0078). Or, you may request a card in person at your local Social Security Office.

MACRA Legislation: Medicare to Replace Your Medicare Card

In 2015, the MACRA legislation (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) authorized some significant changes to Medicare. As a result, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will no longer be using Medicare recipients’ Social Security numbers on their Medicare cards as of early 2018. Instead, the Social Security number will be replaced with a randomly selected Medical Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). Various governmental agencies have long advised officials in Congress to eliminate the use of Social Security numbers on Medicare cards saying that the practice unnecessarily places Medicare beneficiaries at risk for identity theft.

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