Have you recently received a new Medicare card? If you’re already on Social Security, it’s likely that you’ve been automatically enrolled without having to formally sign up for Medicare.1 Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about your Medicare card and how to ensure you have the right coverage before you put it away in your wallet.
How Do I Order a New Medicare Card?
If you already have Original Medicare (Parts A & B) and need to replace your current Medicare card, go to MyMedicare.gov and sign into your account — or create a new account — to print a new official card. To replace a Medicare Advantage card, contact your insurance company.
If you need to update your contact information such as a change of address, visit the Social Security website to access your account.
What Does a Medicare Card Look Like?
Your red, white, and blue Original Medicare card is issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Here’s what it looks like.
How Can I Prevent Identity Theft?
Be alert to anyone you don’t know who contacts you requesting information for your new Medicare card. Only give your card information to trusted medical or insurance professionals. Don’t share this data with people who reach you by email, mail, or by phone without your prior permission.
Your insurance company is allowed to contact you if you are enrolled in one of their plans. A Medicare representative can contact you if you’ve left a message or if they’ve previously indicated that they would return your call.
Your Medicare Options
Now that you have your Medicare card, it’s time to make sure your coverage matches your needs. You have from three months before until three months after you turn 65 to lock down your Medicare coverage choices until the next Annual Enrollment Period.²
During this initial period, you can keep the Original Medicare plan (Parts A & B) that is associated with your new card, add a Medicare Part D drug plan, and/or a Medicare Supplement plan. Or you can choose to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan.³
Add Prescription Drug Coverage
If you want to stick with your Original Medicare plan that corresponds with your red, white, and blue Medicare card, keep in mind that it doesn’t come with prescription drug coverage (also known as Part D).3 Purchasing a prescription drug plan within your initial enrollment period (or within 63 days of any form of creditable drug coverage) will prevent you from paying a late penalty. The late penalty will be applied for as long as you have a Medicare prescription drug plan.4
Many private insurance companies offer Part D drug coverage. But before you purchase a plan, make sure you understand what you’re buying. Reviewing deductibles, copays, and formularies can be a challenge. HealthMarkets’ Medicare shopping experience can help translate the jargon and check to see if your current medications are covered on the plan you choose.
Switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan
A Medicare Advantage plan is available through private health insurance companies. It includes your Medicare Part A and B coverage, and it often includes other coverage such as prescription drugs, dental, vision and/or hearing bundled into a single policy.5 Plus, some Medicare Advantage plans have premiums of $0 a month (not including your Part B premium).6
There are a wide variety of plans and levels of coverage available. HealthMarkets can help match a Medicare Advantage plan to your needs and help you apply online.
Add Medicare Supplement Coverage
When you get your Original Medicare card, you may not notice some of the out-of-pocket expenses that come with it. Medicare out-of-pocket costs include deductibles and copays that you’re responsible for. And if you travel, you may not be covered for emergency healthcare services.7
To help offset these costs from your Original Medicare plan, you can purchase a Medicare Supplement plan (also known as Medigap) from a private insurance company. There are several plans to choose from,7 but plan premiums vary from company to company. Our service can help you compare costs.
Get Medicare Guidance From HealthMarkets
Now that you have that new Medicare card, make sure you use it in a way that works for you. Not sure whether to stick with Original Medicare or go with Medicare Advantage? HealthMarkets can help you decide with no obligation to make a purchase. Answer a few quick questions, and we’ll give you our top recommendation. Plus, you can use FitScore® to compare Medicare Advantage plans, view premiums, and apply online.
Let HealthMarkets help you take the confusion out of signing up for Medicare today.