How to Replace a Lost Medicare Card

How to Replace a Lost Medicare Card

1.

**Head to Social Security Online**

Social Security handles administration of Medicare cards, so visit socialsecurity.gov to get started. Click on the tab for Medicare, and then choose the link that says: "Replace your lost stolen or damaged Medicare card".

It's actually a bit hard to find the link that starts the process. Head to the very bottom of the page, and click the START button to begin. You'll then be asked to agree to the site's policies by clicking the I AGREE button.

2.

**Fill in the Online Application**

Step through the application process to get your replacement Medicare card.

3.

**Be Aware of the Fine Print**

There are a few caveats to getting a replacement card:

--Your card will be mailed to the Social Security address of record. If your address has changed, you'll have to fill out a separate application to file a change of address form.

--It takes about a month to receive a replacement card.

--The online process will time out after a while, for security purposes. so be sure to have all your information at hand before beginning the application.

--Medicare and Medicaid are two different programs. Make sure you're applying for the right one.

4.

**Do an End Run**

Need a Medicare replacement card in less than 30 days? If your doctor or hospital needs to see proof of your Medicare health insurance, you can get a letter from Social Security, or a fast-track replacement card.

Call or visit your local Social Security office directly for the steps involved (the Medicare website mentioned above has a link to local office address and phone numbers).

Your red, white and blue Medicare card is proof of your government-sponsored Medicare health insurance. If the card is lost, stolen, or damaged, you should get a new one without delay. Here's how.