The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) no longer includes member-based social security numbers (HICN) on ID cards. If your card doesn’t have the Medicare Billing Identifier (MBI) listed, order a new card.
You can manage changes like address or status with a social security online account.
If you don’t receive your Medicare ID following auto-enroll in Part AMedicare Part A, also called "hospital insurance," covers the care you receive while admitted to the hospital, skilled nursing facility or other inpatient services. Medicare Part A is part of Original Medicare., you can expect it 30 days after enrolling in benefits.
If you’re a Medicare recipient, your Medicare ID card unlocks some pretty impressive benefits. But like so many other things, people often don’t look for it until they need it. If you’re new to Medicare — or if you need a Medicare card replacement — here are some basics about getting your Medicare ID card.
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Applying for your new Medicare Card is the same as enrolling in Medicare. If you’re an American citizen, or have lived in the country legally for more than five years, you’re eligible to sign up for Medicare if you:
- are 65 years of age or older
- receive Social Security benefits for more than 24 consecutive months
- receive Railroad Retirement Board benefits for more than 24 consecutive months
- have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), require permanent dialysis or a kidney transplant
- have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease
The most common reason to sign up for Medicare is turning 65. But you shouldn’t wait until your actual birthday to enroll. Instead, remember the seven-month rule; you can enroll during your birth month, plus the three months before and the three months after.
For example, if your birthday is in June, your enrollment window opens at the beginning of March and closes at the end of September.
What if I have Medicare Advantage or Prescription Part D?
You will receive a Medicare Card even if you have separate cards for your Medicare Advantage and/or Medicare Prescription Plan (Part D). While you will use those other cards for your medical care, you may be asked to show your Medicare Card when you receive medical care.
When you receive your Medicare Card depends on how you signed up.
- If you are automatically enrolled: Your Medicare Card should be mailed roughly three months before you turn 65, or on the 25th month you receive disability benefits. [i]
- You enroll yourself: New cards typically arrive 3-4 weeks after enrollment. If your new card hasn’t arrived within 30 days, contact your Social Security office to verify your mailing address. Enrolling in Medicare at the beginning of your seven-month window helps avoid delays and makes sure your card is in-hand when your coverage begins.
Are you eligible for cost-saving Medicare subsidies?
The Social Security Administration handles Medicare Card replacements. Consumers can contact the agency for a replacement in several ways. They include:
Request a replacement Medicare Card online
To request a replacement card online, you’ll need to log into your mySocialSecurity account. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to sign up. [i] Once you’re logged in, select the “Replacement Documents” tab and click “Mail my replacement Medicare Card.” Your replacement card will be mailed to your address on file.
Request a replacement Medicare Card over the phone
If you’d prefer to request your new Medicare Card over the phone, you can call the Social Security office.
- Phone: 1-800-772-1213
- Mon. to Fri.; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Request a replacement Medicare Card in person
Customers with limited phone and internet access can visit their local Social Security office to request a replacement card in-person. Visit the Social Security Office Locator [i] to check your local office’s location and hours.
The Social Security Administration designed the mySocialSecurity website as an online portal to access and change your personal information. Now, beneficiaries can revise and access their information without having to wait in a lobby or on the phone. By creating a mySocialSecurity account, you can:
- Access your Social Security statement and benefits
- Change your address and phone number
- Check status of applications
- Report wages
- Start or change direct deposit
- Request replacement Medicare Cards
- Much more
What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?
Your card comes from Social Security because that’s the department that processes Original Medicare (Parts A and B) applications. Original Medicare is tied closely to how much income you made before turning 65, and Social Security helps determine whether you’re eligible. Medicare is operated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
You will receive a Medicare Card once you’ve received disability payments from Social Security for 24 months. [i]
Your Medicare identification number should not show your social security number. If you’ve been enrolled in Medicare for a few years and your member-based social security number (HICN) is still shown on your Medicare Card, you should order a replacement immediately.
The Social Security Administration stopped using customers’ social security numbers as Medicare ID numbers a few years ago to protect private data. And while new numbers called Medical Billing Identifiers (MBI) were issued and replacement cards were mailed, many Medicare beneficiaries are still using outdated cards showing their social security numbers. If this is you, request a new card for security reasons.