How to get a red, white and blue Medicare card

Your Medicare card is the key to accessing the benefits of Original Medicare.

Here’s some help for getting your first card, a replacement card and more.

How to get your first red, white, and blue Medicare card

Receiving your first Medicare card is easy—enroll in Medicare and your card will be sent in the mail.1 If you still need to enroll, follow these tips to sign up for Medicare for the first time.

Other scenarios to consider:2

  • If you qualify for Medicare through age, you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail 3 months before your 65th birthday.
  • If you qualify for Medicare through disability, you’ll receive your card in the mail 3 months before your 25th month of getting disability benefits.
  • If you qualify for Medicare through ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), you can get your Medicare card the same month your disability benefits begin.

How to get a replacement red, white and blue Medicare card

If you recently moved or need a new card for other reasons, you have 3 ways to replace your lost or stolen Medicare card. Replacement cards arrive in the mail in about 30 days. If you need proof of Medicare before 30 days, a letter to use as temporary proof can be mailed in about 10 days. If you need immediate proof for a doctor or prescription, visit your nearest Social Security office, opens new window.

Tips for using your new or replacement red, white and blue Medicare card

Once your Medicare card arrives, here are some good tips to follow:

  • Take your Medicare card to all medical appointments.
  • Leave your card at home in a safe place when you don’t need it.
  • Never share your Medicare card or your Medicare ID number with anyone except your doctor, pharmacist, insurer or other healthcare provider.
  • Have your Medicare card handy when you call Medicare with questions.

Learn more about Medicare

For more helpful information on Medicare, check out these 10 frequently asked questions about Medicare plans.

Sources

  1. “Your Medicare card, “ Medicare.gov, last accessed April 21, 2021, https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-resources/your-medicare-card, opens new window.
  2. “Enrolling in Medicare Part A & Part B,” Medicare.gov, last accessed April 21, 2021, https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11036-Enrolling-Medicare-Part-A-Part-B.pdf, opens new window.

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