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Patient handing medical representative Medicare card

What Does a Medicare Card Look Like?

Sample image of a Medicare Health Insurance card

If you have just enrolled into Medicare, you should automatically receive a Medicare card in the mail that looks like the one pictured above as a part of the welcome packet. Everyone with a Medicare plan should have a card like this one. There are no customizable versions of the Medicare card. This card is also different than a Medicare flex card.


This red, white and blue card will include your first name, middle initial and last name below the Medicare Health Insurance text on the top of the card. Below your name, you will find your Medicare number. This number is unique to you and is separate from your Social Security Number in order to protect your identity. Listed beneath your Medicare number is each Medicare Part you are entitled to and the start date for each of them.

How to Use a Medicare Card

Your Medicare card is needed to join any Medicare plan or buy Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap). In case of emergencies, you should carry your card with you whenever you leave your home. When you receive any medical services from your doctor, at a hospital or from another health care provider, you must present your card as a proof of insurance and for your insurance plan details. You will also need your Medicare card present when going to fill a prescription.


If you enroll into a Medicare Advantage Plan or another Medicare health plan besides Original Medicare, you will use those plan cards instead of the Original Medicare card shown above. You should still keep your Medicare card if you later choose to switch plans or return to Original Medicare.


Because of how important the card is for receiving important health care services, it’s recommended to store your Medicare card in a safe place.

How to Get a Replacement Medicare Card

There could be several reasons that you would need a new Medicare card. If your card is lost, damaged or stolen, you can easily print a new copy from the official Medicare website. All you need to do is to log in or create a Medicare account. You will also need to replace your Medicare Card if you legally change your name, and it no longer matches the name on your current card.


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