With identity theft on the rise, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has revamped its identification system, replacing Social Security number IDs with a unique Medicare ID number. Your new Medicare card will include your name, your new ID number, and the dates your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage began.
1. How Do I Get a New Medicare Card?
You don’t have to do anything to receive your new Medicare card. Medicare will send your new card to the address associated with your Social Security account. Need to update your address? Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or sign into your Social Security account online.
2. When Will I Receive My Card?
The CMS has begun mailing cards, but is not expected to finish until April, 2019. If you’d like to get an email update when your card has been mailed, click here.
3. I Received My New Card, But It Doesn’t Look Real
Your new Medicare card will look slightly different than the old card. In addition to a slight design change and the inclusion of Spanish headings, you will notice that the new card is printed on paper rather than plastic. This decision was made because healthcare providers indicated that it was easier for them to copy paper cards than plastic ones.
4. What Do I Do with My Old Cards?
As soon as you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old one in a secure way, such as shredding, to protect yourself from identity theft. You will not be receiving new Medicare Advantage, Part D Prescription, or Medigap plan cards, so do not destroy them. You may need to present your new Medicare card when using them, so be sure to bring all your Medicare cards to medical appointments.
5. Beware of scammers
Whenever changes occur in any program, scammers spring into action. If anyone contacts you claiming to be from the CMS, and wants to talk about your new Medicare card or benefits, do not give them any information. Hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE.