Its Importance and How to Replace a Lost Card
A Medicare card is a federally issued identification card that is needed to receive the Medicare benefits. Upon turning 65, you will automatically qualify for Medicare if you are an American citizen or permanent resident with five continuous years of residency. However, you may not be automatically enrolled. Additional Medicare enrollment information and required forms can be found at SSA.gov.
Current example of a Medicare card:
Medicare Card Update
As of April 2018, new Medicare cards are being issued to people enrolled in Medicare. These new Medicare cards no longer have the individual’s Social Security number printed on them. Instead, CMS is issuing unique identification numbers for beneficiaries. If your card is stolen, lost, or damaged, you can request a replacement online at SSA.gov.
If you are already receiving Social Security disability benefits or certain other forms of disability benefits from the federal government, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare after receiving these benefits for 24 months. A Medicare card will be sent to you after you receive your 25th check. If you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or another kidney failure-related condition that requires dialysis and/or a transplant, you may have to manually enroll in Medicare through Social Security before reaching the age of 65.
If you have begun receiving your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board retirement benefits, your enrollment in Medicare should be automatic. Your Medicare card should arrive roughly 3 months before your 65th birthday. If you’re receiving Social Security benefits, you will qualify for Medicare Part A (hospital), but you’ll need to enroll in Medicare Part B (physician) at the time you apply for Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits in order to have the coverage start.
Not everyone is automatically enrolled in the Medicare program — especially those who have not begun to receive Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits, which are the administrations that handle Medicare enrollment. To ensure your enrollment in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you’ll want to manually enroll during your initial enrollment period (IEP), which is 3 months before your 65th birthday. You’ll receive your Medicare card about 30 days after being approved.