Do you have your new Medicare card?

The new Medicare card was released in April 2018 and mailed to all Medicare beneficiaries, as well as to individuals approaching 65 years of age or who are in their 25th month of receiving disability benefits. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services completed the mail out of new Medicare cards to all U.S. states and territories as of January 16, 2019.

The biggest change is that Medicare will issue each beneficiary a unique Medicare number which replaces the beneficiary’s social security number that was printed on the old cards. No more worries about revealing your social security numbers and potential identity theft! Just like the old card, the new card still shows whether you have Part A (Hospital) and/or Part B (Medical) and the effective date of coverage. The new card is made of paper, making it easier for health care providers to use and copy.

For those who have Medicare Advantage (HMO or PPO), your Advantage Plan card is STILL your main card for Medicare. But you should carry both Medicare cards in case providers ask to see them.

You can still use your current Medicare card to receive health care services until January 1, 2020. However, it’s best to start using your new card and destroy your old card to prevent unauthorized people from obtaining your social security number.

Here’s what you can do if you have lost or have not yet received your new Medicare card:

  1. Ask your healthcare provider to look up your new Medicare number.
  2. Check all unopened or old mail laying around your house or in your car.
  3. Make sure your personal information is up-to-date with the Social Security office. Visit: ssa.gov/myaccount or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) to make necessary corrections. Medicare uses the name and address you have on file with Social Security.
  4. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY: 1-877-486-2048 to obtain a replacement card or speak with Medicare representatives if you suspect someone is using your number.
  5. Visit MyMedicare.gov and open an account— if you do not have one—to access your new Medicare card. This official card is printable and accepted by providers.

It is important to continue to protect yourself from identity theft and scams. Your new number is STILL at risk of health care fraud. Treat your Medicare card the same way you regard your social security card, debit or credit card. Do NOT give anyone access to your Medicare number other than your health care provider, pharmacists, doctors, or those you trust to ask about health and Medicare questions on your behalf. NEVER give your personal or private information to anyone who calls uninvited. Medicare will NOT request such information from you. Nor will Medicare ask you to give them your Medicare number or information listed on your Medicare card. Scammers will use this tactic.

For more information about Medicare fraud you can visit Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Hawaii: www.smphawaii.org or call their help line: 808-586-7281; Toll Free: 800-296-9422.

For additional information and updates about Medicare please visit: medicare.gov or continue to explore our Hawaii SHIP website.

   

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90SAPG0005, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorships are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

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