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Quick Guide to Getting Your Medicare Card

Who doesn’t love mini golf? Windmills, colorful balls, maybe a snack or ice cream afterwards with the grandkids. Okay, this is actually an article about how to get your Medicare card. But we’re trying to make it a little bit fun!

Getting your Medicare card is like getting your score card and putter at your favorite course. It lets you get started! Your Medicare card shows you have coverage for services from health care providers in the U.S. that accept Medicare.

But how to get your Medicare card? What information will be on it? What happens if you forget to bring it to an appointment? Let’s take a swing at finding out.

How to Get Your Medicare Card

To get your Medicare card, you need to sign up for at least Part A. You can sign up for Part A and/or Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period. It’s three months before you turn 65, your birthday month, and the three months after.

If you choose to take Social Security benefits starting at age 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare. Otherwise, you must enroll yourself. You can sign up for Medicare even if you work past 65. Although you may want to wait, depending on the benefits your employer offers.

After you enroll in Original Medicare, your Medicare card will be mailed to you as part of your welcome packet. You should receive your packet about two weeks after you complete your enrollment.

You enroll in Medicare through Social Security in one of the following ways:

  • Online: Social Security website

  • By phone: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778)

  • By contacting your local Social Security Office

Answers to Other Medicare Card Questions

Should I carry my Medicare card all the time?

We recommend you carry a copy of your Medicare Card. To avoid the hassle of losing and replacing your card, keep the original at home. Make a copy to carry with you. You should also carry any cards for Part C (Medicare Advantage) or Part D (prescription drug) coverage.

How do I protect my card and my information?

Protect your Medicare card the same way you do your credit cards. And share your Medicare information only with your doctor, pharmacist, other health care providers, and insurers. Keeping your personal information safe is a top priority.

What if I forget my card while on a doctor’s visit?

While it’s best to bring a copy of your card to appointments, you may be able to access your information in other ways. You, your doctor, or another health care professional may be able to look up your Medicare Number online. If you have a mobile device with internet at your appointment, you can look up your Medicare account.

What do I do if I lose my card?

If you lose your card, you have a few easy options. Log in to your Medicare account and print a new card. Or call 1-800-633-4227 (TTY: 1-877-486-2048).

Is there a digital version of the card?

No, but you can get a printable version of your Medicare Card through your online Medicare account.

Need Help?

The Medicare Support Center can help. With the right people on your side, your Medicare journey can be a hole-in-one.

Give us a Call

1-844-672-0317 (TTY: 711)
9 AM to 6 PM ET

MR492 6/2022