Medicare card updates

Medicare is mailing new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare starting in April 2018.

Who needs to know this information? You, your elderly neighbor, your aging parent, church members, medical offices, retirement communities, baby boomers, SO MANY PEOPLE!

Why is this information about new Medicare cards important? Medicare recipients hand over their Social Security numbers every time they share their Medicare cards with healthcare providers, home care agencies, home health companies, retirement communities, attorneys, financial advisors, on and on and on. Most of the time these transactions are with honest, reputable professionals that have no intention of misusing or abusing private information. However, fraud and identity theft continue to be a disturbing, growing problem in the U.S. This major overhaul by Medicare is a big step forward to slow misuse and abuse of private information.

When will you, your neighbor, your parent, your patient receive their new Medicare cards? Beginning in April 2018… in other words, next month. Watch your mail for delivery of this important new card.

What questions do you have about the new Medicare cards?

10 things to know about your new Medicare card (source

  1. Your new card will automatically come to you. You don’t need to do anything as long as your address is up to date. If you need to update your address, visit your mySocial Security account.
  2. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity.
  3. Your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
  4. Mailing takes time. Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
  5. Your new card is paper, which is easier for many providers to use and copy.
  6. Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away.
  7. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare—you should still keep and use it whenever you need care. However, you also may be asked to show your new Medicare card, so you should carry this card too.
  8. Doctors, other health care providers and facilities know it’s coming and will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care, so carry it with you.
  9. Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
  10. If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.

Last but not least, beware of scams around the introduction of this new Medicare card.

Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare Number) by contacting you about your new card. If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang up and call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).