What happens if you lose your Medicare Supplement card? How do you report a lost, stolen, or damaged card? We’re going to answer those questions and more.
When you sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan, you get a separate insurance card from your Medicare card. Keep it in your wallet at all times so you can present it when you need services from a medical provider.
Of course, everyone loses things every once in a while. Your Medicare Supplement — also called Medigap — card might get lost, stolen, or damaged. In that case, you’ll need to get a replacement card.
We’ll cover what to do if you need a Medicare Supplement card replacement.
YOU NEED YOUR MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT CARD WHEN YOU VISIT A PHYSICIAN
Every time you go to the doctor, you’ll need to hand over your Medicare Supplement card as well as your Medicare card. That way, your doctor can bill your insurance company for any covered services.
Many physicians require you to provide a Medigap card up front if you plan to use supplemental insurance for that visit. After your first time visiting a new physician, the office will likely keep your card on file.
If you lose your Medicare Supplement card, make sure you notify your doctors immediately. You don’t want them to keep the incorrect card on file. Then, once your new Medigap card arrives, you can give it to your doctors so they can scan it into their systems. You won’t have to deal with any disruptions in benefits.
REPORT A LOST OR STOLEN MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT CARD IMMEDIATELY
If you lose your Medigap card, make sure you report it to your insurance company right away. They will cancel the number they have assigned to you and issue a new card in your name. Expect to wait a few weeks for it to arrive.
In the meantime, if you visit the doctor, let them know about the lost, stolen, or damaged card. They might be willing to delay filing the paperwork for your visit until the new Medigap card arrives.
In the case of theft or damage, you might lose your Medicare card as well. Report it to the Social Security Administration so the agency can issue a new card and cancel the old one. By rendering the lost card inactive, nobody can use it for themselves.
MAKE SURE YOU REVIEW YOUR STATEMENT OF BENEFITS
If your card gets stolen, keeping track of your statement of benefits will ensure you catch any fraudulent uses of your card. You might receive your statement of benefits electronically through email or as paper statements in the mail.
As long as you report your card as stolen, however, nobody will be able to use it successfully. Reviewing your Medicare Supplement statement of benefits simply provides another layer of protection from identity theft.
MEDICARE IS REPLACING BENEFICIARIES’ CARDS
Medicare redesigned its card and sent the new ones to beneficiaries the last few months of 2018 and the first few months of 2019. The new card doesn’t have the individual’s Social Security number on it, providing better security against identity theft.
Remember that your Medicare card is different from your Medicare Supplement card. It will come from the Social Security Administration instead of your Medigap provider. When you get your new card, you can destroy the old one, though it will continue to work through the end of 2019.
CONSIDER SCANNING YOUR MEDICARE CARDS
One way to maintain peace of mind is to scan your Original Medicare card and your Medicare Supplement card into your computer. You could also take a photograph of the cards with your phone or a standard camera.
That way, you always have your card numbers with you. If you realize you’ve lost or damaged your cards just before an appointment with a physician, you can use the copies to ensure you receive the proper services and that your Medicare Supplement insurance company gets billed for its part of coverage.
Some physicians might not accept copies, but many will. Let the administrative professionals know that you will provide a replacement card as soon as it arrives.
KEEP YOUR MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT CARD IN A SAFE PLACE
You’re less likely to lose or damage your Medicare Supplement card if you always know where it is. Keep your Medigap card in your wallet or purse at all times so you can access it quickly. If you need to take it out at home, put it back where it belongs as soon as you’re done with it so you don’t misplace it.
Replacing a Medicare Supplement card doesn’t take much work, but it’s important to handle the situation quickly. It can be stressful to know you don’t have your card when you have doctors’ appointments lined up.
If you’re not yet a Medicare beneficiary, you might consider looking into Medicare Supplement plans to help control your out-of-pocket expenses and to structure your benefits so they fit your budget and needs. We have a Medigap Quoter that allows you to get quotes from numerous insurance companies at the same time. Consider your Medicare Supplement insurance needs today.