New Medicare Cards
If you’re on Medicare, you’ll soon be hearing a lot about getting a new Medicare card with different numbers than you have right now. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will launch a public information program starting in January 2018.
Beginning April 1, 2018, new Medicare cards with new numbers will be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service to all people with Medicare. The mailings will be staggered throughout the year, with completion expected by April 2019. The new cards will have a new number unique to each person with Medicare instead of the Social Security Number-based Health Insurance Claim Numbers currently used. The new Medicare numbers won’t change Medicare benefits. People with Medicare may start using their new Medicare cards as soon as they get them. The reason for this change is to help protect the identities of people with Medicare and to prevent fraud and scams.
People age 65 or older are increasingly the victims of this type of crime. This is why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is readying a fraud prevention initiative that removes Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards. The aim is to help combat identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars.
Once you get your new card, destroy your old card. As soon as you get your new card with your new Medicare number, use the new card immediately. New card, new number; remember the old number is being replaced with a new unique number.
Once again, Medicare will be mailing new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. This start and stop date for the receipt of new Medicare cards is important to remember to alleviate concerns if a card doesn’t immediately arrive.
Points to Emphasize for Medicare Beneficiaries:
• Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.
• Beware of anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare card, especially by telephone. We will never ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare number and card.
• Understand that mailing everyone a new card will take some time. Your card might arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
• Remember, the new Medicare numbers won’t change Medicare benefits. People with Medicare may start using their new Medicare cards as soon as they get them.