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Find Out About the New Medicare Card and What It Means to You

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medicare cardFor many Americans, Medicare is their primary insurance coverage provider. Nearly 58.4 people received Medicare benefits in 2017. Most of these people are retired, and some are disabled. And when they need health care services, they just pull out their familiar Medicare card.

Now the face of Medicare is changing. And soon a new Medicare card will be issued to those who are covered by this plan. In case you haven’t heard, new ID cards will be issued for all eligible members beginning in April 2018. This will be a slow rollout over twelve months.

Basic Facts About the New Medicare Cards

Most people carry a drivers license or state identification card. Besides valid ID, a Medicare card is one of the most frequently used cards in your wallet. New Medicare cards will be sent out between April 2018 and April 2019 depending on where you live.

The new Medicare card will have a randomly generated number that is unique to each cardholder. Once this card is in your hands, you will no longer use your Social Security number as your plan identification number. Many cardholders will be pleased this sensitive number will no longer be the basis for proving eligibility. Using a specific, random number for each policyholder is a format that resembles other insurance providers. And this model offers a higher level of security to Medicare cardholders.

New cards will also be made of paper. The idea is they’ll be easier to use and copy while saving taxpayers money. Additionally, you will be able print off a new one by logging in to your account at Medicare.gov. You might print off more than one and keep one laminated for longevity purposes.

New ID Cards Protect Your Identity

Identity theft is a worrisome problem. And nobody wants to try to prove they were a victim of this type of fraud. The new Medicare card number will help protect your identity. And Medicare will never ask cardholders for personal or private information. Be aware that Medicare will never call or ask about your new ID. If you are contacted, its likely a fraudulent scam.

There will be no fees for new ID cards. They will look just like they have in the past with the familiar red, white and blue template. No longer will there be the insured’s Social Security number, however. The Medicare Chip Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) requires SSNs to be replaced with new beneficiary identifiers or MBIs. This should help to cut down on Medicare fraud and identify theft.

New Cards Will Arrive – Nothing To Do

No action needs to be taken to get your new Medicare card. One important step you can take now it to verify your mailing address is updated and accurate. And if your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at socialsecurity.gov/myaccount or call 1-800-772-1213. If you’re unsure, reach out to Social Security to verify the address on file. The right address ensures your new Medicare card arrive safely at the right place. And then you just watch your mailbox to get your new card.

Don’t expect new cards right away. Some won’t arrive until 2019. In fact, Medicare beneficiaries in Ohio and Kentucky will be some of the last people to receive new cards . For some, the new IDs may not arrive until April 2019. In other words, don’t be alarmed if your friends in other states have theirs, but your Medicare card has not arrived yet.

Out With the Old and In With the New

Immediately destroy the old card when your new Medicare card arrives in the mail. You do not want it to be misplaced or improperly used. In addition, if you are concerned about security issues, use scissors to cut the card up into tiny pieces.

Start using your new card right away to get the same benefits you are accustomed to receiving with your old one. And your new card with its new number provides better protection than the old system. Doctors and hospitals know that these new IDs are on the way. It should in no way surprise them when you present them with this new information. And the same applies to your supplemental information as well.

What About Medicare Supplemental Insurance?

Different carriers provide Medicare Supplemental Insurance. Those cards will remain the same unless you receive separate notification directly from your provider. Continue to use your old Medicare Supplemental insurance card as well as your Medicare Advantage cards. The same is true of Part D dug plans. There should be no changes to any of your IDs with these three programs.

If you have questions about your supplemental insurance coverage, contact us or your local insurance agency to find out more. Any reputable agent can help you get the Medigap coverage you need. Also, this added coverage pays for a full range of healthcare services.

If you want more information about this important change, contact us,  your trusted insurance agent, or go to Medicare.gov to get additional details. Otherwise, you just need to wait for your new card to land in your mailbox!

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Category: Medicare Supplements