Skip to main content

10 things to know about your new Medicare card
Medicare is mailing new Medicare cards started in April 2018. Here are 10 things to know about
your new Medicare card:

1. Mailing takes time: Your card may arrive at
a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.

2. Destroy your old Medicare card: Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare
card and start using your new card right away.

3. Guard your card: Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care
providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.

4. Your Medicare Number is unique: Your card has a new number instead of your Social Security
Number. This new number is unique to you.

5. Your new card is paper: Paper cards are easier for many providers to use and copy, and they save
taxpayers a lot of money. Plus, you can print your own replacement card if you need one!

6. Keep your new card with you: Carry your new card and show it to your health care providers when
you need care.

7. Your doctor knows it’s coming: Doctors,
other health care facilities and providers will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care.

8. You can find your number: If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care
provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.

9. Keep your Medicare Advantage Card: If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO),
your Medicare Advantage
Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare – you should still keep and use it whenever you need
care. However, you also may be asked to show your new Medicare card, so you should carry this card

10. Help is available: If you don’t get your new Medicare card by April 2019, call 1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.
You have the right to get Medicare information in an accessible format, like large print, Braille,
or audio. You also have the right to file a complaint if you feel you’ve been discriminated
against. Visit cmsnondiscriminationnotice.html,
or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for more

All people with Medicare are getting new Medicare cards. These new cards have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to each person with Medicare, instead of their Social Security Number.

When should I get it?

Medicare has started mailing cards to certain states and will continue mailing nationwide. Your new card will automatically come to you. You don’t need to do anything as long as your address is up to date. If you need to update your address, visit your mySocial Security account.

Sign up to get an email when your card mails.

Who sends it?


What should I do when I get this card?

  • Destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away. Your Medicare coverage and benefits stay the same.
  • Keep using your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, like an HMO or PPO.
  • Carry your new Medicare card with you. Doctors, other health care providers, and facilities know it’s coming and will ask you for it.

Download a sample letter

New Medicare Card letter [PDF, 793 KB]

Patricia Carrera

Author Patricia Carrera

More posts by Patricia Carrera