New Medicare cards coming
Starting this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin a year-long process of sending all Medicare beneficiaries a new Medicare card. Beneficiaries in Pennsylvania will be among the first groups of seniors to receive new cards, and will get theirs between April and June.
The new cards will have a unique Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will allow for removal of the Social Security number. Medicare will automatically mail a new card at no cost to beneficiaries at the address on file with Social Security.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Mailing takes time. Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
- Destroy your old card. Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old one and start using your new one right away.
- Guard your information. Only give your new Medicare number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, your insurers, or other people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
- Your Medicare number is unique to you. Your card has a new number instead of your Social Security number.
- Your new card is paper. Paper cards are easier for many providers to use and copy, and they save taxpayers a lot of money. Plus, you can print a replacement if needed.
- Keep your new card with you. Carry your new card and show it to your health care providers when you need care.
- Your doctor knows it’s coming. Doctors and other health care providers and facilities will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care.
- You can find your number. If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care provider will be able to look up your Medicare number online.
- Keep your Medicare Advantage Card. 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.
- Help is available: If you don’t get your new Medicare card by April 2019, or if you have other questions about Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227) or 1-877-486-2048 for TTY users.
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