General, Medicare, Online Services

Replacing Your Medicare Card – Know Before You Go (Online)

August 27, 2015 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

A woman sits at her computer on the beachKeeping your important personal documents safe can be challenging. We understand that, occasionally these important pieces of information can get lost.

Your Medicare card is one of the most important pieces of identification you own as a Medicare beneficiary. This card proves that you have health insurance, so medical professionals can provide you with needed care, and insurance companies can pay for all or part of this care accurately.

If you damage or lose your card, and you’re currently entitled to Medicare, you can order a replacement card easily with a personal my Social Security account. All you need is a computer or tablet with Internet access. Your card will arrive in the mail in about 30 days.

To create a my Social Security account, you’ll need:

  • To be at least 18 years of age.
  • Your name as it appears on your most recent Social Security card.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your residential address (U.S. address only, including military addresses, APO/FPO/DPO, AE, AP, or AA).
  • Your phone number (optional).
  • Your email address.

Once your online account is created, and if you are entitled to Medicare, it’s easy to request a replacement Medicare card. Just select the “Replacement Documents” tab. Then select “Mail my replacement Medicare card.”

If you can’t use the online request to get a replacement Medicare card, or if you prefer, call Social Security’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Our representatives will be glad to help you. You can also visit one of our local Social Security offices. For the office closest to you, try our online Field Office Locator.

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About the Author

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Judy H.

    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.

    • Norma C.

      It’s better if you call and talk to a person.. They’ll walk you through it all!!

      • Judy H.

        Thanks Norma I will do that. I appreciate it.

  2. Philip L.

    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.

  3. Martha F.

    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.

  4. Kathleen D.

    Thanks for reminding so I checked and found I still have a card…thanks

  5. Judy

    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.

  6. gary b.

    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.

  7. vern d.

    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!

    • P. L.

      YOU are so right, I hope someone who can do this is looking and listening.

      • Jim H.

        They are government employees, what do you expect????: They could care less!

        • Former F.

          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.”

          • Phil R.

            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.

          • Donald T.

            Good luck on that, Phil Raymond. It will probably take about 4 generations of cloned Donald Trumps to clear out that swamp of dysfunction.

    • Susan T.

      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.

      • Donald T.

        Or, they can be laminated, which would make them nearly indestructible.

    • Cecilia A.

      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!

      • Donald T.

        I laminated my social security card, even though I very rarely use it. I’ve never heard of anyone having their cards confiscated or their owners arrested for doing so.

      • Donald T.

        Good luck on that, Phil Raymond. It will probably take about 4 generations of cloned Donald Trumps to clear out that swamp of dysfunction.

    • emin m.

      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?

  8. Stephanie C.

    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.

    • Susan T.

      Excellent idea!

      • Paul N.

        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.

        • Joan

          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!

          • Florence W.

            All you have to do is ask.. mine was changed several years ago.

        • Karen C.

          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!

    • Generoso A.

      Excellent idea. The U S Department of Veterans Affaiirs issue cards in plastic. Why can’t SSA do the same?

    • Bob

      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.

      • Judy

        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.

      • Ray F.

        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.

        • Roberta

          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.

          • Ray F.

            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.

  9. Arturo R.

    Thank you for that information.

    • EnrollMyMedicare

      Its nice information for Medicare card usage. Most of the time customers are not worry about their docs or cards in future. But its most important for everyone.
      For query :-

  10. Leslie L.

    I lost my Social Security Card. I need a replacement card.

    • John B.

      My address has also changed to 17 Deer Run, Savannah, GA 31411

      704 5793194
      I forgot my password

Comments are closed.