New Medicare Cards for 2018
New Medicare ID Cards Coming April 2018!
Beginning in April 2018, a new Medicare ID card will be mailed to more than 55 million people who are currently enrolled in the Medicare system and to the additional 10,000 Baby Boomers who are eligible daily for Medicare. Whew!
Why are the new Medicare cards important?
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 requires removal of Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards and replacing it with a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) by April 2019.
With the proliferation of identity theft and fraud over the years, the new Medicare card will help to protect Americans private health care and financial information and federal health care benefits and service payments by using 11 characters in length of upper case letters from A- Z and numbers 0-9.
How long will this process take? How does this affect me?
The new Medicare card will work in phases using geographic location and will take a full year finalizing in April 2019. After December 31, 2019, those enrolled in Medicare must use the new Medicare card.
Obviously, this volume of work takes time and people will be receiving cards at different intervals so don’t worry that your neighbor’s card arrives first.
You can check out when your state will begin receiving the new Medicare card at www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-mailing-strategy.pdf .
Also, be sure to update your mailing address if there have been changes by contacting the Social Security Administration at www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ or call toll free 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Will my new card and new number protect me from fraud or identity theft?
Just as your Social Security number and card should be protected, your new Medicare number and card should be also. The best way to protect yourself is never give personal or private information to a stranger over the phone or at your front door. Be aware that Medicare and Social Security will NEVER contact you by phone. If you receive a call by someone claiming to be from Social Security or Medicare, HANG UP! Both agencies will send you a letter to let you know you need to contact them.
Millions of dollars are lost due to scammers who obtain Medicare card and personal ID numbers and use it to fraudulently bill for services never ordered or used and your credit can also be damaged. Seniors are most vulnerable to scammers and they need to make sure that other friends and family members are aware, as well.
Your new Medicare card will be as unique as you.
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Information and materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice. The above information is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Coliday and Craig Colley are not affiliated, employed or endorsed by the SSA, Medicare.gov. or any other government agency.