Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Get a New Medicare Card If My Card Is Damaged, Lost, or Stolen?

If your Medicare card is lost, stolen or damaged, you can request a replacement Medicare card through the Social Security Administration in the following ways:
  • Online at
  • By phone at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users, dial 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM
  • In person at your local Social Security office
Your new red, white, and blue card will be mailed to the address that Social Security has on file for you within 30 days.

Do I Need to Renew My Medicare Coverage?

In general, once you’re enrolled in Medicare, you don’t need to take action to renew your coverage every year. This is true whether you are in Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan, or a Medicare prescription drug plan. As long as you continue to pay any necessary premiums, your Medicare coverage should automatically renew every year with a few exceptions as described below.

I Have Medicare Now; Do I Need to Do Anything Else?

  • You can have Original Medicare and enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
  • You can have Original Medicare and purchase a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plan. There are 10 standardized Medigap policies in most states, and they cover varying amounts of your Medicare Part A and Part B costs (such as coinsurance and deductibles), depending on the Medigap policy.
  • Or you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. With a Medicare Advantage plan, you get your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits through a private, Medicare-approved insurance company. Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, so you can get all your Medicare health and drug benefits in a single plan

Do I Get Medicare If I’m Getting Social Security Disability Benefits?

You will typically be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and B, after you’ve received Social Security disability benefits (or certain Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits) for two straight years. Your Medicare coverage will start 24 months from the month you qualified for disability benefits. In some cases, this could be earlier than the month when you received your first check. You must be either a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years to be eligible for Medicare.

Note that certain conditions may qualify you for Medicare under age 65, but have different enrollment details than those described above.

  • If you have Lou Gehrig’s disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS), you’re enrolled in Medicare automatically the first month you receive disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
  • If you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), you might qualify for Medicare, but you’re not automatically enrolled. If you’re on dialysis or you’ve had a kidney transplant, contact Social Security (information below).

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