New Medicare cards are coming – sometime between April 2018 and April 2019. It’s a pretty big timeframe, and it’s leaving a lot of people wondering exactly when they can expect their card to arrive. The good news is that there are three easy ways to check your Medicare card status.
- Go to you gov account. If you haven’t set up an account, you can do so now. This is an easy way to get personalized Medicare information online, including your new Medicare card status.
- Go to gov/newcard to sign up for an email alert. This way, you’ll receive an email when you new card is mailed to you.
- Check the map at gov/newcard. CMS is sending the cards out to beneficiaries based on their location. You can check the map to see which states are getting their cards now. The process for each state is expected to take at least a month.
What do you need to do to get your card?
The new cards are being sent to all Medicare beneficiaries automatically.
Medicare beneficiaries do not need to do anything to receive their new card – assuming their contact information is up to date. If your information is not up to date, go to the Social Security site to correct it.
What’s different about the cards?
The new cards have a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) instead of the individual’s Social Security Number. The MBI is a brand new, unique 11-character code consisting of letters and numbers.
The change is supposed to help Medicare beneficiaries protect their personal information and reduce their risk of identity theft. Many beneficiaries use their Medicare card frequently and carry it around in their wallet or purse. Security experts agree that it’s not safe to carry one’s Social Security Number around. With the new cards, Medicare beneficiaries won’t have to.
Is there anything else beneficiaries should know?
Once beneficiaries receive the new card, they can start using it immediately.
They should destroy their own Medicare card in a safe way – in other words, without exposing their Social Security Number. If they are enrolled in Medicare Advantage and have a separate card for that, they should keep the Medicare Advantage card and the new Medicare card.
Although the new card does not include a Social Security Number, the new MBI should be treated as personally identifiable information. In other words, be careful about who you show it to. It should be used only when necessary, for Medicare-related business.
Beneficiaries should also be alert for scams. Many scammers target Medicare beneficiaries. A common ploy involves calling and posing as a Medicare employee, then demanding personal information or payment. Real Medicare employees do not do this.
Need help with navigating your Medicare Insurance options? Contact PTT Financial.