68 thoughts on “Replacing Your Medicare Card – Know Before You Go (Online)

  1. As a medicare card holder, I have a suggestion. In this age of scams, hacking & identity theft, would it be possible to get our medicare claim number on the card changed to another number that is NOT our social security number.

      • It is strange that the federal government is HELPING identity thieves. Now, because of federal mandates, all credit cards will have a “chip” on them. You soon will not be able to use your credit card without first putting you chip through a reader.

        • Hard to believe isn’t it !!! And the ss # front and center! My insurance agent made a copy of mine to put in his files and I was all over THAT!

        • No, the chip is to help PREVENT identity theft. Such chips are used all over Europe and have significantly lessened identity theft compared to cards with only a magnetic strip. Two of my cards have chips already, and I have used them in Europe – most US stores etc. can’t handle the chips yet but they should get a move on!

    • For everyone concerned about Social Security numbers being used as Medicare Claim Numbers on Medicare cards: April 16, 2015, Public Law No: 114-10 (commonly referred to as the “Medicare Doc Fix”) was signed into law. Section 501 authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish and implement a cost effective method of removing SS numbers from Medicare cards. Between FY15 and FY18, $320 million is being allocated from the Medicare trust fund to CMS, SSA and RRB to begin this process. It will take time (and some significant money) but the process has begun.
      Ref:https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ10/PLAW-114publ10.pdf

      • Until Medicare cards are updated, I’ve made a copy of the original & put it in our safe. The copy is in my wallet with the all but the last 4 digits blacked out. It’s worked so far with Medical offices/facilities.

      • Thanks Bob! Let us contribute to the information you provide. For more than a decade, we and other Federal agencies have recommended taking Social Security numbers or SSNs off the Medicare card. However, the amount of money and effort this would take has prevented it. The good news is that a new Medicare card is coming, one that will no longer display a cardholder’s SSNs. Please contact Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY 1-877-486-2048) for additional information or other questions about this matter.

        • I called Medicare about this issue today. They told me some people have been successful in getting a new id number but because you, Social Security), issued the Medicare card number, you are the only one who can change it.
          So I called social Security and after on hold for one hour they told me that they knew nothing of this law and will not issue me a new id.
          My question is….where can I get this done because it appears SS is the responsible party.

          • For more than a decade, we and other Federal agencies have recommended taking Social Security numbers or SSNs off the Medicare card. However, the amount of money and effort this would take has prevented it. The good news is that a new Medicare card is coming, one that will no longer display a cardholder’s SSNs. Here are some suggestions to keep your personal information safe while using your Medicare card.

  2. Why, in this electronic world, haven’t the ‘Medicare people’ found a way to issue their cards in plastic rather than a very poor quality paper. Also, why is it necessary to list ones’ social security number as the holders ‘Medicare Claim Number’? I’m sure, what with all the electronic wizardry available, a different 9 digit number (or for that matter any number of numbers) could be issued which cross-references the birth date/name/etc to the person it was issued to. ALL older folks find it necessary to carry their Medicare card AT ALL TIMES, yet older folks are much more forgetful, confused, vulnerable, etc. THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY! Please find it….for all of our sake!

        • Fortunately, most people don’t have the same attitude as you do, Mr. Halloran. Most people understand that there are many dedicated employees in the Federal government who do their best to serve the public every day, even when confronted with offensive comments like yours.

          I agree that the actual Social Security claim number should no longer appear on Medicare cards. Plastic sounds like a good idea but it might be too expensive to produce compared to the printed card, and government agencies are usually funded on an annual basis, so unless Congress provides extra funding specifically for this purpose, I doubt SSA would be willing to spend more on a current basis even if switching to plastic would save money in the long run. They have to operate like a stepchild on an allowance, which is constantly under attack by politicians and blowhards in the media who expect all the work to get done but make a stink about the 1% or so of the Social Security budget that goes toward operating expenses; compare that to the 15% or more that is spent by some private nonprofit organizations for administrative expenses! Yet, SSA has to beg Congress every year just to maintain its current level of funding, like a PBS station pleading for donations during a fund drive, despite the fact that SSA has its own source of revenue in the form of FICA taxes. Congress still decides how much SSA receives to administer the program each year, no matter how much is collected in FICA taxes, and the SSA operating budget becomes a political football that gets kicked around just like the budgets of all other federal agencies. That’s no way to run any business, much less “the people’s business.”

          • Spoken like a true beaucrat, Former Fed, who is so brave you don’t even use your real name. Truth be known, about 10% of Medicare budget is spent on services, the rest to salaries for people like you. And Medicare pays doctors so little ($.28 on the dollar) that there is only one doctor in this whole city who takes Medicare patients. People like you are the swamp Trump intends to drain.

    • Hope someone reads and gets in gear on this. I was going to share that the cards are used so often, they should be made using plastic and the Social Security number, if used on the card at all, should no be so prominently displayed.

    • My thoughts exactly! I guard my card as carefully as possibly but after only 3 years it is ragged at the top even tho I’ve tried to keep it in a plastic holder separated from my wallet but in my wallet. (I’ve thought about getting it laminated but hear that’s illegal?) I hate to see what my card looks like in 5 years! I, too, am wary about my SS# being my identification number. Plastic card with chip and a new number to identify us–all for it!

    • thank You [Vern] for the subject. I’m on my 70 plus. I do have a similar problem since valet got stolen [with soc.sec.card & alien card & money etc.] Problem of re-isuingn them. Why?

  3. I agree – the Medicare number should be replaced with some other ID number/letters and healthcare providers should stop asking for your social security number unless you are applying for credit.

  4. All good questions and responses. My company has used assigned serial numbers/PIN’s for decades rather than Social Security numbers. Social Security might think about it. Don’t know if it would stop the rampant fraud – but maybe slow it down a little.

  5. I also agree that our Medicare numbers should be changed. With so much identity theft out there it is dangerous for us to be having to show our Social Security numbers when going to physicians and hospitals. There is no need for them to know what our Social Security numbers are when we already give them our driver’s license numbers and dates of birth.

  6. Hello, I would like to see a more permanent card. Plastic is ideal. Even if it is covered in plastic would be better for cost. Paper cards seems to get shredded just sitting in a wallet or having to dig through other cards to find them.

    I like the information collection. However why the SS number when it is already being used as a determining factor.

  7. I want to change my e-mail in my social security log in… I can’t get jnto it and it sends my password to my old e-mail. I can’t find anywhere to change it. I forgot my password and would like to be able to sign in and read stuff. Thanks for any help.

  8. I suggest that the SSA should offer another option for SS beneficiaries to fill out “Create an Account” form with JUST 4 LAST DIGITS of Social Security number instead of the whole 9! That way, with my humble opinion, might encourage many more SSA “customers” doing the online registration. Because they feel more secure for their personal identity whenever going online “to do business” with the SSA. Thank you, and have a nice working-day! NV

  9. I can’t set up a mySocialSecurity account because I haven’t bought anything on credit in 15 years. How ridiculous is that? Because I try to live within my modest means, I have to suffer…

    • We apologize for any inconvenience. If you are referring to having to provide credit card information when creating an account, this would only be need it if you select the extra security option, then you are required to provide the last eight digits of your credit card number for further verification. To create an account, you must provide some personal information about yourself and give us answers to some questions that only you are likely to know. If you are having difficulty creating a mySocialSecurity account, please call 1-800-772-1213. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” please say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Sometimes it might be best to visit your local Social Security office for further assistance.

      • She is talking about the use of a credit inquiry from Experian that produces a list of questions with multiple answers from information on file that “supposedly” only you know the answers to to verify your actual identity. In my case, I have a credit freeze on my Experian credit files so the questions and answers you are asked are garbage. In this case, you must go to the nearest SSA office to apply in person with your real SSN card in hand and other forms of identification including a picture ID issued by a government agency.

      • Good luck trying to get through to someone on the phone – that is, if you don’t minding being on hold for at least 2 hours and then being disconnected or when you do eventually get through to someone, they are either extremely rude or not knowledgeable about your issue. Or you could do what I did, and spend 6 hours in your local SS office!!!! Fortunately, my 6 hours spent in the local office ended up with a terrific representative who told me things that a representative at the 800 number never tells you and is not even posted on their website! Also, as a victim of identify theft, I also agree that SS numbers have no business being on a Medicare card and I also agree that physician offices should not ask for your SS number. I have actually observed physician offices, hospitals, etc. throw away documents in trash cans that have personal information on them instead of shredding them and I refuse to give them my SS number!

  10. My original tattered Social Security card has “gone missing.” Fortunately, I know it “by heart” and can quote it. It was issued when I was still a teenager. However, I collect Social Security on my deceased husband’s account: an entirely different # ending in D. Sometimes there is confusion as to which # I need to provide.
    I also heartily agree that the card should be reissued in plastic. If this is not possible, I at least need a replacement for my original card.

    • If you ever need to interact with Medicare or change plans, you will need to provide you Medicare claim number and effective dates. If you are receiving Medicare benefits through a spouses work history, the suffix letter at the end of the claim number can vary.

  11. I could have gone on-line to get a medicare replacement card but thought I’d try to phone to see how good service would be. It all went very well and quickly, with only one question: I gave my name, SSN, and date of birth but not my address, so how do they know where to send the card?

  12. AARP recommends making a copy of one’s Medicare card, and blacking out your S.S. # to carry in your wallet.
    That way, when you go to health care providers you can
    give them your Soc. Sec # if they ask for it, or ask them
    to create another unique account #. One should never carry their Soc. Sec. card around anyway- keep it in a
    safe place. And yes, Medicare cards should be plastic!
    Thanks.

    • MAKING A COPY WITH our ss# blacked out would save medicare millions if we would all do that, at least the ones the don’t want their ss# on their medicare card, we don’t need ànymore taken out of our medicare accounts.

  13. For everyone concerned about Social Security numbers being used as Medicare Claim Numbers on Medicare cards: April 16, 2015, Public Law No: 114-10 (commonly referred to as the “Medicare Doc Fix”) was signed into law. Section 501 authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish and implement a cost effective method of removing SS numbers from Medicare cards. Between FY15 and FY18, $320 million is being allocated from the Medicare trust fund to CMS, SSA and RRB to begin this process. It will take time (and some significant money) but the process has begun.
    Ref:https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ10/PLAW-114publ10.pdf

    • It will ONLY take $”320 million to “begin process”???. When I first signed on to Medicare 12 years ago, I offered to SSA that it was not a good idea for me to carry my SS card in my purse or wallet due to possible theft. ALSO, the first thing many companies want to know is your “Mother’s Maiden Name”. Is this any way for a government agency to collect info so that we are sitting senior ducks to have our personal info – which senior “against fraud identify” seminars constantly tell us not to give out this info. I bring the card ONCE to the doctor’s office or when needed and once they see it, I put it away and bring a photocopy of it blackened numbers except for the last 4 numbers.

  14. Blacking out the ss# on our cards by making a copy ourselves would save medicare millions, we don’t need ànymore taken out of medicare.

  15. I live overseas (Panama) and cannot request a Medicare Card on line because I cannot “Create an Account”. I feel discriminated for residing overseas and to call the SSA cost me money because there is no toll free from Panama. Why beneficiaries overseas are treated different?

    • We are sorry for the inconvenience, Gildo. The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet. Please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate for any assistance related to your Social Security benefits.

  16. When will I receive my Medicare card? I will be 65 in a few days. Is it my original Social Security card thta I got way back when I applies as a teenager?

    • No. It is a new thick paper card that contains your SSN followed by a letter that codes the particular Medicare benefit class to which you are entitled.

    • Thank you for your questions Mr. Wilshire. If you are already receiving Social Security retirement benefits, you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and B, and you should have received your card by now.
      You can get a replacement Medicare card or immediate proof that you have Medicare, if you go online, and create a mySocialSecurity account.
      If you are not already getting retirement benefits, you should contact us immediately to sign up for Medicare. You can also apply for Medicare online. You can sign up for Medicare even if you do not plan to retire at age 65.
      In regards to your second question, if you are receiving Social Security benefits, your Medicare card will have an “A” after your Social Security number. A “T” after the number will indicate that you have Medicare, but do not receive monthly benefits.
      For further assistance, contact your local office or call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm. We hope this information helps!

  17. Social Security Amendment of 2016

    Free Disability Insurance Reallocation Tax (DIRT) Act

    To immediately amend the DI tax rate from 1.80% to 2.30%, from 0.90% to 1.15% for employees and from 0.90% to 1.15% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.60% to 10.10%, from 5.30% to 5.05% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.30% to 5.05% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) to avoid depletion of the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund in 2016 without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 beginning October 1, 2015.

    To amend the DI tax rate again in 2018 to 2.20% from 2.30%, from 1.15% to 1.10% for employees and from 1.15% to 1.10% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.10% to 10.20%, from 5.05% to 5.10% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.05% to 5.10% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 to maximize efficiency until a deficit appears in the OASI Trust Fund in 2019.

    Without Income Limit Law (WILL) Act

    To abolish the maximum taxable limit on DI contributions on January 1, 2016 and OASI contributions January 1, 2017 and repeal Adjustment of the contribution and benefit base Section 230 of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)§430.

    To require the Social Security Administration to pay for SSI Costs beginning January 1, 2017.

    To share profits in excess of social security program costs to the general fund of the U.S Treasury on a sliding scale beginning year end 2016 DI 50/50 with the USPS, and OASI 10/90 to eliminate the federal budget deficit. In 2020 OASI would share at negotiated rates an estimated 25/75, by 2025 OASDI would share 50/50 and by 2030 OASDI would save to pay for the peak in costs of Baby Boomer generation in 2035 that might raise the overall OASDI tax rate from 12.4%.

    Done
    http://www.title24uscode.org/haw.htm

  18. I love this web site ! I found it by mistake. I turn 65 in November 2015 when will I receive my card ?

    Thank you all for your questions

    • Glad you found us, Connie. If you are asking about your Medicare card, and if you are already receiving Social Security retirement benefits, you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically. You can receive your card anytime within three months before your 65 birthday, and your Medicare coverage starts the first day of the month you turn 65.
      If you are not already getting retirement benefits, you should contact us now to sign up for Medicare. You can apply for Medicare online even if you do not plan to retire at age 65.
      If you need further assistance, call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm. We hope this information helps!

  19. As a Patient Accounts Rep. in a hospital, I understand that our patients do no like to give us their SS# because they are afraid of identity theft. Even if SS started using a different number for their benefits, we still would need the SS# in order to get medical bills paid. Many insurers use SS# along with the patient’s ID number or claim numbers to ID the patients. It is really sad that patient’s don’t trust their medical providers to keep their info safe. No matter what is done with the Medicare ID crooks will always figure out how to steal someone’s ID to profit.

  20. Dear Ray Fernandez, Public Affairs Specialist:

    PLEASE make it possible for those of us who don’t mind paying a small fee to receive a plastic card instead of the paper ones used now. Also, PLEASE see to it that the dimensions of the card match the size of a credit card or a drivers’ license so that it will fit into a standard size wallet enclosure instead of the oversized paper ones used now. Thank you!!!

    • Hello Ken, click here to see what documents your grandson will need to get a replacement Social Security card.

  21. Two questions:
    1) Any development regarding a credit card sized plastic Medicare card issued for free or for a fee (I would gladly be willing to pay) ?
    2) when people say they keep the original at home in a safe place and only carry a copy, is this copy in black & white or in color?
    Thanks for any clarificat

    • The Medicare program, including Medicare cards, is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Please contact CMS at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY 1-877-486-2048) for additional information or other questions about this matter. Thanks!

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