Can I Laminate My Medicare Card?

Medicare is an important federal government program that helps people save money on their healthcare expenses. Your card is an important part of the process, so keeping it safe and in one piece is essential. Many people think that laminating their Medicare cards will be a great way to protect their cards. Does the Social Security Administration recommend doing this? Does the lamination process have an effect on the usability of the card? This article answers these questions and others as well. Save time and money, read on.

The Different Types Of Medicare Cards

There are a few different types of cards a person can get when they sign up for Medicare. For Original Medicare, which is a combination of Medicare Parts A and B, there is a card that is red, white, and blue. This card will be mailed to you and indicates which type of insurance policies you have. Also, this card has the start date for your policy. The card will also have the phone number for the Medicare helpline in case you have any questions about your policy or need assistance.

For people who purchase a Medicare Part D plan, a separate card is issued. Part D is Medicare prescription drug coverage. The same is true for people that choose to get Medigap insurance plans. Medigap policies are also called Medicare Supplemental Insurance plans and can only be purchased by people who opt to get Medicare Part A and/or Part B. People enrolling in Medicare Advantage are not eligible to get Medigap policies.

If you choose to get a Medicare advantage plan, whether is it an HMO or a PPO, you will be sent a card from your provider. An additional card will be sent for prescription drug coverage if it is included in your Medicare Advantage policy.

When You Have To Use The Cards

Whenever you receive healthcare services, you should have your card with you. This includes doctor’s visits, specialist visits, pharmacy visits, and more. Other healthcare providers, as well as other prescription drug services, are included in this list too. Keeping your card in good condition is vital.

Laminating Your Medicare Card

When it comes to laminating your cards, you should be aware that there is no rule against it. If you want to do it, you can. That said, there are pros and cons to making this choice. The SSA, or Social Security Administration, does not recommend lamination. The biggest reason for this is that the security features can be affected. If this happens, there could be errors when the card is scanned at healthcare providers. This can cause delays in getting care in some cases.

Also, there are other ways that you can protect your card available. Some people choose to get a plastic cardholder that can provide protection. Users can easily slide their card out when they are at the pharmacy or provider.

If you do choose to laminate your card, take the time to sign it beforehand. Your medical providers might not accept it if it is not signed, or the signature rubs off or is not legible. If you need to, though, you can easily get a replacement card online at Social Security.

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