Understanding Your Medicare Card – Parts A & B
If you are automatically enrolled in Medicare because you already collect Social Security, three months before you turn 65 years old you will receive your “red, white and blue” Medicare card in the mail. Your card has a Medicare Number that’s unique to you (it is not your Social Security Number). It includes the start date of your Medicare coverage and the parts you have been enrolled in (Part A and/or Part B). Store this card in a safe place. A typical card looks like this:
Depending on your selected Medicare coverage, you may also have additional cards to identify your plans. It is important to also show this card along with others when requested by your providers, insurers or others that you trust. Be aware that there are scammers out there that may request copies of this card. Be careful who you provide this information to. As stated on the official medicare.gov website, Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information.
In Addition to Your Medicare Card…
Depending on your additional coverage to basic Medicare, you may have other cards to show your provider. Here is a snapshot of what they are:
Medicare Supplement Cards
This card will look different because it is provided by your plan provider. On your Medicare Supplement card, you will see the word “supplement” and the effective date. Your provider will want to see both your Medicare AND Medicare Supplemental cards.
Rx (Prescription) Cards – Part D
If you have Medicare Part D (PDP), you most likely have a card that identifies the provider of the plan. The following is an example of the ID card to show your pharmacy employee (card format may change based on provider).
Medicare Advantage Plan Cards
If you are participating in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will have a card that details your plan benefits all in one place. Always bring your Medicare card with you, along with your Medicare Advantage Plan ID. Here is a generic sample of a Medicare Advantage card.
How to Protect Your Medicare Card(s)
While not illegal, the Social Security Administration advises that you do not laminate your Medicare card. Lamination may prevent detection of security features. You can however, slide your card into a plastic ID card holder for safe keeping. You can also consider taking a photo or photocopy of your card (front and back) for backup.
If You Lose Your Medicare Related Card(s)
Call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to replace your red, white and blue Medicare card. To replace an Advantage or Prescription Drug card, contact your plan’s Customer Service department to request a new card.
Contact me or visit the Medicare.gov website to learn more about your Medicare options.