Your Medicare card is proof of your Medicare insurance. Once enrolled in Medicare, you’ll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail, usually 3 months before you turn 65 if you are automatically enrolled.

Your Medicare card shows that you have Medicare health insurance, including whether you have Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance) or both. Your Medicare card will also show the date your coverage begins.

Take it with you

Once you receive it in the mail, it is important that you carry it with you at all times, especially if you are leaving the house or traveling. Additionally, you will need to allow doctors, hospitals, or other health care provides to see your card when you need hospital, medical or other health services.

Because you will be carrying this card with you, it is possible that it might get lost. If you need to replace your Medicare card for any reason, you have three options:

You need to contact Social Security. You can do this by:

    1. Logging on to
      1. Once you are logged in to your account, select the “Replacement Documents” tab.  Then select “Mail my replacement Medicare Card.”
      2. Your new card should arrive within 30 days.
    2. Visiting your closest SS office
      1. A representative will walk you through the steps
    3. Call 1-800-MEDICARE
      1. A customer service representative will walk you through the steps

4 things to know about your Medicare card

  1. Your Medicare Number, found on your Medicare card, is unique to you.
  2. Therefore, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you only give your Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
  3. For times when you forget your card, you, your doctor or other health care provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online. If you can’t memorize, try storing in your phone in a secure spot that you can access in these situations.
  4. When in a Medicare Advantage Plan, your Plan ID card will be your main card for Medicare. If you have a Medicare drug plan, be sure to keep that card as well.  You may be asked to show your Medicare card, so keep it with you at all times.