New Medicare Cards
Chances are you’ve heard about the new Medicare cards that are being delivered in the coming year for beneficiaries. Identity theft has been on the rise, especially for adults over the age of 65, and this is an effort to reduce the problem. According to the Department of Justice, the number of identity theft cases reached 2.6 million in 2014, up a half a million in just two years.
The new Medicare cards will no longer display Social Security numbers. This will aid in preventing fraud and identity theft. Cards will automatically be mailed between April 2018 and April 2019 to over 58 million Medicare recipients, so no action is necessary on your part.
The new cards will feature a randomly assigned Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) made up of 11 letters and numbers. Your MBI will be unique to you, and your benefits will not change under the new MBI.
According to AARP, scams relating to the new cards are already starting to surface. Some Medicare recipients have reported getting calls from scam artists who tell them they must pay for the new card. Then they ask for their checking account and Medicare card numbers. AARP warns that this information should never be given out over the phone. CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) will never ask you to tell them what your Medicare number is because they already know it. They will never call and ask you to provide personal information over the phone.
Mailing of the cards will take some time, and some people may receive their cards before others. More information will be provided by Medicare when your cards arrives.
What can you do to prepare? Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If you need to change your address, you can contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778. You can also visit Medicare.gov for the latest updates.