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What should I do if my Medicare Card is damaged, stolen, or lost?

A Medicare card is an important document for every American citizen. Provides medical services for people who are older than 65 or a bit younger. It often happens that cards can be lost and stolen. Many people complain that their cards have been stolen. Thieves steal these cards to buy opiate painkillers. As a result, the clients need to replace them.

The first thing to do is to check if it was really stolen. Sometimes people can just forget them in purses, cars or put them somewhere else. If you are sure that your medicare card is lost, it is time to find the way out.

Replacing the card if it was lost, stolen, or damaged

An original Medicare card is usually red, white, or blue. When you lost it, or understand that you can no longer use it, there are several ways how to replace it:

  1. The first way of replacement is to call 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227).
  2. Another way of getting it is to apply to mymedicare.gov (Here the client can order or print a replacement card).
  3. One of the most convenient ways is to use the mobile application – Express Plus Medicare.

In case you get some medicine from the HMO, PPO, PDP you need to call these departments. These plans are provided by Medicare Advantage Plan. So, these departments are responsible for replacement.

Some patients may receive a medicare card via the Railroad Retirement Board. In this case, the client must apply to the organization. The replacement Medicare card will be sent to the client within 30 days.

Pay attention that a new Medicare card will replace the old one. The old card won’t be available anymore for any operations. Besides, the client can get a digital copy of the card. He can get it after getting a new plastic card.

Sometimes the clients may need proof that they have this kind of insurance policy. If it happens, it won’t become a problem. Send a letter to the office for temporary proof. You will have to wait about 10 days to get the letter. If the situation requires instant measures, one can apply to the Social Security office and get confirmation there.

When do I need to apply to the Railroad Retirement Board?

This measure is necessary if the client is signed up for medicare via this organization. The client must send the request for the card in the following ways:

  1. Visit the official RRB website – www.rrb.gov;
  2. Connect via the phone number – 1-877-772-5771;
  3. Connect a local RRB office.

How to avoid Medicare fraud?

If the medicare card was stolen or lost, be careful to avoid Medicare fraud. The client must pay attention to Medicare Summary Notice. Scammers can use the card for different operations. All these actions will be visible in the account. If the client sees an operation he didn’t fulfill, he must instantly report to the General Inspector. The phone number for connection is 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477). Another way to get help is to send a request to the local Senior Medicare Patrol.

Replacement Medicare card with an expired period

If you see that your Medicare card is going to expire, you need to replace it too. This procedure is much easier than replacement in case of loss. The client will get his card within 4-8 weeks. He doesn’t need to send a request for replacement or go to the office. The card will be sent to the client according to his stated address. If the client changes his address, there must be some problems. First of all, the client won’t get his card. If the house or the flat were sold, another person can get it and use it for different reasons. Before the expiration period, be sure that the Medicare office has the right address. If not, inform the company about these changes.

Can I get an extra medicare card?

Any person can get one more card. Sometimes it is necessary to have it for another family member. It is possible to get only one extra card. It will have the same information as the original. The only limit here is that it is provided for another family member. One can’t get the card if there is only one person included in it.

The medicare service provides getting an extra card by the following means:

  1. One can use a personal account on the official website or through the mobile application;
  2. It is also possible to call the office via phone.

The client will get an extra card within 30 days. It is also possible to get a digital copy if it is needed. It will be sent almost right away after the main one.

Precautions to save the medicare card

Replacement of Medicare cards can become inevitable not only in case of the validation period. It can be lost or stolen, sometimes faded or improper to use. All these cases are leading to the replacement Medicare card. It is sometimes better to prevent the problem than to solve its consequences. Everyone knows that such docs as Medicare cards, Social Security cards, and other insurance papers are important. Without them, it is impossible to get qualified medical help or get pills.

One of the simplest ways to avoid problems is to keep everything in one place. Besides, you can take photos of the cards. Even if you face problems with the loss of some documents, it will be easier to get new copies. At least, you will have a photocopy that confirms that you are the real owner.

Conclusion

All the insurance documents are important for life in the USA. Without them, it will be hard to apply to any medical institution. They are helpful in case of serious illnesses and can cover most of the expenses. Any person needs to have them at hand. In case of losing or stealing some papers, you need to restore them as soon as possible. The main step here is to apply to the organization. It can be done by email or phone number. Within a month the client will get a new document with the same data. Before applying for a new Medicare policy document, make sure that you have the right address in the database. If you have any changes, inform the operator about it, to get it in the right place. Other necessary information is stored in the organization. No additional confirmation is required.