THE OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT MEDICARE HANDBOOK
You’re getting a
new Medicare card
We’ve been mailing new Medicare cards since April 2018.
Your new card has a Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your
Social Security Number. We did this to protect your information and help
prevent Medicare fraud.
When you get your new card:
• Destroy your old Medicare card. Make sure you destroy your old card so no
one can get your personal information.
• Start using your new Medicare card right away! Your doctors, other health
care providers, and facilities will ask for your new number, so carry your new
card with you when you need care.
• Keep your other plan cards. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an
HMO or PPO) or a Medicare drug plan, keep using that Plan ID card whenever
you need care or prescriptions. However, you should carry your new Medicare
card too—you may be asked to show it.
• Protect your Medicare Number like you do your Social Security Number.
Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health
care providers, your insurer, or people you trust to work with Medicare on
Still waiting for your new card?
Your new Medicare card should have arrived in the mail by now. If you didn’t get
it, here’s what to do next:
• Look around the house for any old or unopened mail. Your new Medicare card
will come in a plain white envelope from the Department of Health and Human
• If you still can’t find it, call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY
users can call 1-877-486-2048. We may not have your correct address on file.
Our call center representatives can help you check your address and fix it if
• In the meantime, use your current Medicare card to get health care services.
If you’re new to Medicare:
• Learn about your Medicare choices. There are 2 different ways to get
your Medicare coverage—see the next few pages to learn more.
• Find out how and when you can sign up. If you don’t have Me