New Medicare Cards Coming in 2018 – Beware of Scams
In April 2018, a change is being made to help prevent fraud and identity theft, by removing your Social Security number from your card. Unfortunately, scammers are already using this change to take advantage of Medicare recipients.
Some scammers call claiming to be Medicare and say they must confirm your current card. Others call saying there is a charge for the new card and collect payment information
BE AWARE – There is no charge for your new card and Medicare will never call you for your information. They already have it!
10 things to know about your new Medicare card
- Your new card will automatically come to you. You don’t need to do anything as long as your address is up to date. If you need to update your address, contact Social Security (ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213).
- Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity.
- Your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
- Mailing takes time. Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s.
- Your new card is paper, which is easier for many providers to use and copy.
- Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away. Cut it up – don’t just throw it in the trash!
- If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare—you should still keep and use it whenever you need care. However, you also may be asked to show your new Medicare card, so you should carry this card too.
- Doctors, other health care providers and facilities know it’s coming and will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care, so carry it with you.
- Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
- If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.
WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS
Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give out personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang up and call Medicare (1-800-633-4227).