Across the country, people have been receiving new and safer Medicare cards. Yet there are a few questions that people have had according to an article from The New York Times, “New Medicare Cards Are Being Issued. Here’s What You Need to Know”.
The replacement of these cards has not been immediate, but that is nothing to worry about. The sending out of these cards is structured in waves. There are 10 waves to stagger the mailings, and if a friend or relative in another state receives(ed) a card before do not worry.
These new cards now use a Medicare identifier that is made of 11 characters including numbers and letters. This will hopefully be safer than a recipients Social Security number. Yet, even with this new security, there are still scamsters. There have been reported calls about people being asked to pay fees concerning their new Medicare card or calling to ask for personal information. “Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card,” says the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. So, keep an eye out!
If you are suspicious about a call, you can report it by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also call your local Senior Medicare Patrol, this is a federally funded service for people on Medicare and their families.
If you still haven’t received your card, while it takes time, you can check your MyMedicare.gov account and see if it has been mailed. If you don’t have an account already, now is a great time to set one up. If the card has been mailed then if you want you can print a new official card. You might also want to call 1-800-MEDICARE to see if you need to update any personal information, because as mentioned, Medicare won’t call you.
In addition, check the Social Security Administration also has your up to date information. This is where Medicare gets its information. You can create an account online to update the information: “my Social Security account”.
While everyone should have their new card by April, there is a transitionary period where doctors are allowed to accept the old Medicare cards until December 31, 2019.
Once you receive your new card, make sure you destroy your old one more thoroughly than just ripping in quarters and throwing it in the trash. Remember to bring your new card with you to the doctors as well.
If you are signing up for Medicare for the first time, then don’t worry because you will automatically receive a new card.
Understanding these new Medicare card changes and knowing where to make accounts so you can make sure your information is up to date it an important piece of Planning for LifeTM. Remember, be suspicious of Medicare calls and use the resources mentioned above to make sure any calls are legitimate.
Reference: The New York Times (August 31, 2018) “New Medicare Cards Are Being Issued. Here’s What You Need to Know”