Medicare Card Information
It is very important to note that your Medicare card should be carefully guarded. Just as you would protect a credit card or your Social Security card, you should guard your Medicare card in the same fashion, as it contains sensitive information. In the wrong hands, such information as your name, signature and Social Security number could be copied or stolen. It could then be used to steal your identity (identity theft) or commit Medicare fraud. Therefore, only provide your Medicare card or information to hospitals and your direct health care providers.
Getting and Replacing Your Medicare Card
If you are almost 65 and not yet receiving retirement benefits: It is important to note that not all beneficiaries are automatically enrolled in Medicare. If you are not yet receiving retirement benefits, and close to turning 65, you will need to enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which begins three months before you turn 65 and lasts seven months. You can apply for Medicare Part A and/or Part B through Social Security (if you worked for a railroad, you need to apply through the Railroad Retirement Board). The start of your coverage will depend on which month you sign up during your IEP, and you should receive your Medicare card within 30 days of being approved.
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For all others, the standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $110.50 in 2016, which is a 15% increase over the 2009 premium. The Medicare Part B premium is increasing in 2016 due to possible increases in Part B costs. If your income is above $85,000 (single) or $170,000 (married couple), then your Medicare Part B premium may be higher than $110.50 per month. For additional details, see the FAQ titled: "2016 Part B Premium Amounts for Persons with Higher Income Levels".
Understanding Your Medicare Card
You may have left some blanks in your application for enrollment or for extra help with costs, so they may call you to ask for the missing information. They will only ask you for the information that’s missing from the application. Do not give out any other information. If you are not sure the person who is calling you is actually with the Social Security Administration, call the Social Security Administration back at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users call 1-800-325-0778), and they should be able to confirm the call was legitimate.
Medicare Card: Applying for a New Medicare Card and Replacing a Lost Medicare Card
Once you have enrolled in the Medicare program, your red, white, and blue Medicare card should arrive in the mail about three months before your coverage begins. For U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents approaching their 65th birthday, enrollment in Medicare could be automatic. This happens if you receive Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits. In these cases, you are enrolled in Medicare Part A beginning on the first day of the month in which you turn 65, and your card should arrive three months prior to this.