If you are a Medicare recipient, you understand why this is an important question. Just like your social security card, your Medicare card is essential to you. You need to show it to your doctor’s office, hospital, pharmacy, and just about any place you receive medical services or get prescription drugs.
In the following article, Insurance Pipeline Inc., a health insurance company that specializes in senior healthcare solutions, will explain whether or not you can laminate your Medicare card.
Just like your social security card, it is important to keep your Medicare card in good shape. It should be readable without smudges or tears. The Social Security Administration website says explicitly, “Do not laminate your card. Lamination prevents detection of many security features.” In fact, the backside of your social security card states that it is not to be laminated.
Unlike your social security card, however, you should keep your Medicare card with you. You never know when you might need it. You should always have at least a copy of it in your purse or wallet.
There is no specific prohibition against laminating your Medicare card. That does not mean, however, that doing so is a good idea.
There is a QR code on the back of your Medicare card. A QR code is a type of matrix barcode that can be read with a camera or QR scanner. If you cover your card with lamination, it may reflect light and make it difficult to read the QR code.
Your Medicare card is already printed on thick paper. Many people find that with repeated use, the card begins to show significant signs of wear. To protect your card, try using a clear plastic holder for your card. These inexpensive sleeves help keep your cards clean during routine use, and the card can be easily removed when necessary. You can also get one for your social security card as well.
Another option for protecting your Medicare card is to keep it in a safe place at home and carry a color photocopy of your card in your wallet or purse. If your copy gets damaged or destroyed, simply make another copy.
In 2018 the design of Medicare cards changed, and the new cards do not require a signature. If you have an older card and decide that you want to laminate it, make sure you sign it before it is laminated.
Your Medicare card is the proof you need to show that you have Medicare. If your Medicare card gets damaged, lost, stolen, or destroyed, you can request a replacement using your personal Social Security account.
Once you log into your account, select the “Replacement Documents” tab. Then choose “Mail my replacement Medicare card.”
Your Medicare card should arrive in the mail in about 30 days. Make sure the Social Security Administration has your correct mailing address on file before completing the request.
So, to sum it up, yes, you can laminate your Medicare card, although you probably shouldn’t. There are better ways of protecting it, such as a cardholder sleeve or using a photocopy. If you choose to laminate it anyway, you may be making things more difficult for yourself, as the QR code may become unreadable.
About Insurance Pipeline, Inc.
Insurance Pipeline Inc. is a health insurance agency specializing in senior healthcare products and solutions. The company, initially founded and run by Corey Shader, is now one of the top senior healthcare Agencies in the nation. Insurance Pipeline provides a wide variety of solutions to meet every need and budget — primarily focusing on Medicare Supplement Plans as well as Medicare Parts A, B, and D.