The New Medicare Cards 2018: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you haven’t already heard, everyone will be getting new Medicare cards in the mail! The new Medicare cards are scheduled to be sent from April 2018-April 2019.
[Check the status of your new card here: https://www.medicare.gov/newcard]
Until now, your social security number has been on your Medicare card, and a lot of people didn’t like this – it’s certainly a security threat. A Medicare card is easy to lose, and if it gets into the wrong hands, you could be at risk for identity theft.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services heard the complaints and decided to change the Medicare card. Your social security number will no longer be on your card at all. Now, your card will display your new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), and that number can be used for things like billing, finding out your eligibility status, claim statuses, and more.
So, not only will you be receiving a new Medicare card, but you will also be assigned a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), which is also called a Medicare Number.
What does the new Medicare card look like?
The new Medicare card is black, white, and blue, and it contains your full name, your new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), and the date in which your Medicare Part A and B coverage starts.
Here is a sample of what the new Medicare card looks like:
This new card is different from the old one in the following ways:
- Your sex is no longer on the new card
- Your signature is not on the front of the new card
- Your “Medicare Claim Number” has been replaced with your new Medicare Number (MBI)
- The design is slightly different
Who gets their new Medicare cards first?
People who are completely new to Medicare will be the first people in the country to get their new Medicare cards.
Do I need to do anything in order to receive my new Medicare card?
The new Medicare cards are automatically being sent to everyone who is on Medicare. You don’t need to do anything other than make sure your address is up-to-date. You can update your address through the Social Security Administration’s website: https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
What do I do with my old Medicare card?
Once you receive your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card. You can start using your new Medicare card as soon as it arrives!
Are there any scams associated with the new Medicare cards?
Be aware of potential scammers – there are frauds who are taking advantage of the new Medicare card change. These scammers will call or email you for personal information, and you should not give it to them.
Also, if anyone calls and asks for money or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, immediately hang up and call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Medicare will not contact you and ask for personal information – remember that your card will be mailed automatically and there is nothing you need to do other than make sure your address is current.
Can I check the status of my new Medicare card?
You can check to see if your new Medicare card has been mailed, is being mailed now, or will be mailed soon on Medicare.gov/newcard.
As of April 26, 2018, no new Medicare cards have been sent, and all states are labeled as “mailing soon.”
Will the new Medicare cards be plastic?
The new Medicare cards are made of paper, not plastic. A Medicare representative explained to us that you can laminate them, but that can make it difficult for providers to read (particularly the numbers on the card).
Alternatively, you can purchase a transparent business card holder that protects your card, but is easily removable like this one from Amazon.
What do I do if I have a Medicare Advantage Plan?
If you’re currently in a Medicare Advantage Plan, your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is still your main card for Medicare. You should keep this and use it when you go to the doctor.
Keep in mind that your provider still might ask you for your new Medicare card, so you should carry the new Medicare card with you as well.
When will I need to use my new Medicare card?
The only people who need to see your new Medicare card are:
- Health care providers
- People you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf
If anyone else asks for your Medicare card or your personal Medicare information, ignore the request and immediately call Medicare (1-800-MEDICARE) if you feel you were speaking with a potential scammer.
What happens if I forget to bring my new Medicare card to the doctor?
It happens! If you forget your new Medicare card, you may be able to look up your new Medicare number online (also called an MBI).
What do I do if I lose my new Medicare card?
If your new Medicare card gets lost, stolen, or damaged, you can request a new one from the Social Security Administration.
You can do this online by signing into your My Social Security account: https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
Once you’re logged in, select the “Replacement Documents” tab, and then select “Mail my replacement Medicare Card.”
If you aren’t able to do this online, you can call 1-800-772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office.
Your new card would arrive in about 30 days, but if you need proof that you’re on Medicare sooner, you should visit your local Social Security office.
Medicare is confusing. The more you seek out information, the more overwhelmed you feel. You're definitely not alone.
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