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Howard Kossover: Laminate your Medicare card? There’s no law that says you can’t

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Howard Kossover: Laminate your Medicare card? There’s no law that says you can’t
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Q: Is it ok to laminate a Medicare card to protect it?

A: I am not aware of any recommendation against laminating Medicare cards.

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The Social Security Administration does recommend against laminating Social Security number cards although doing so will not invalidate the card.

Do not routinely carry your Social Security card with you. Lost or damaged Medicare cards are easily replaced online at no charge.

From the Social Security homepage at www.socialsecurity.gov, go to the “Numbers & Cards” tab and click on the “Replacement Medicare card” link.

A replacement Medi-care card will arrive by mail in about 30 days at the address that Social Security has on record for you.  Do not use the online replacement request if you recently changed your mailing address and have not yet provided the new address to Social Security.

In this case, contact Social Security to report your new address and request a replacement Medicare card at the same time. Call the Social Security national toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., business days, or your local office.

Q: A friend has Medicare from Railroad Retirement, not from Social Security. Is the coverage the same?

A: Yes. Medicare coverage is the same for everyone entitled to it, no matter how that coverage was obtained. Details about what is covered by Medicare are on the Medicare website, www.medicare.gov.

Railroad employment is not covered by Social Security. Legislation enacted in 1934, 1935, and 1937 established a separate retirement system, now administered by the Railroad Retirement Board.

The Medicare program covers railroad workers just like workers covered under Social Security.

Although railroad employment is part of a separate retirement system from Social Security, the two systems coordinate benefits when a person has employment through both.

Did You Know?  Social Security information is on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest.  Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Based in Grand Forks, Howard I. Kossover is the Social Security Public Affairs Specialist for North Dakota and western Minnesota. Send general interest questions to him at howard.kossover@ssa.gov. Read his online articles at socialsecurityinfo.areavoices.com.

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