Medicare Issues New Cards

FYI: Medicare will be issuing new Medicare cards over the next 12 months with unique Medicare numbers rather than Social Security numbers.

Many of you may know that at Laurel Wealth Planning, we work with our clients to enhance their financial security through cyber security protections. Medicare is currently taking some steps in that direction that may interest you or a loved one.

Starting in April, 2018, and through April, 2019, Medicare will be replacing all Medicare cards in an effort to fight against identity theft and Medicare fraud.

The new Medicare cards will now have a unique 11-digit Medicare number instead of using Social Security numbers as the current cards do. The new cards do not change any elements of coverage or benefits.

Quick things to keep in mind for those getting new cards:

  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 https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/

  2. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that is 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 both  cards with you.

  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 providers may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.

Never fall for this Scam:

Medicare will never call clients requesting personal information or seeking payment for the new Medicare numbers.

If you receive a request for information, money, or a threat to cancel health benefits from anyone via the phone, do not share your personal information! Hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to get any clarification on your account.

As always, please let us know your comments and questions.

Mallory Kretman