Owing to a rising prevalence of identity theft, private health insurance companies abandoned the use of Social Security numbers for the purpose of identification. The federal government had forbidden private insurers from using the number on insurance cards; however, Medicare itself continued the practice until 2015.
In 2015, ex-President Obama signed a bill terminating the use of Social Security numbers on Medicare cards. The new Medicare cards issue an 11 character identification containing both, letters as well as numbers, to provide for better protection to Medicare beneficiaries. The new cards began being issued in April, 2018 and will continue to be issued until April 2019 to the 60 million people that are covered by the federal healthcare plan.
Here is what you need to know about your new Medicare card:
You Don’t Have To Go Get It
The new Medicare card will be mailed directly to your address; you won’t have to go anywhere to get it. Make sure that your address is updated. If not, head over to your my Social Security account or contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and have it updated.
Your Coverage Remains The Same
The new card will ensure that you still receive the coverage that you did with the old card. It will also state your name, the new Medicare number and the dates that your coverage for Part A and Part B began.
You Can Start Using It Immediately
Your new Medicare card can be used as soon as you receive it. Also, once you get the new card the old card should be destroyed immediately, using a confetti shredder as per AARP recommendations (follow the disposal instructions here). If your card is lost or misplaced, you can get a replacement via Medicare.
If You’re A Medicare Advantage Plan Beneficiary, Your Advantage Plan ID Is Your Main Card
For Medicare Advantage Plan beneficiaries such as HMO or PPO, the Medicare Advantage Plan ID Card is still your main card for Medicare benefits and should be used whenever you require medical care. Along with that, the Medicare Part D, Medigap and prescription cards should also be kept and used, if you are a beneficiary. The new card should be kept and used along with these cards and healthcare providers may ask you to show the new card in addition to the Advantage or prescription and Medigap cards.
Keep A Watch Out For Scams
Even though new cards do not require the use of your Social Security numbers, it’s still advantage good idea to stay wary of potential scams. As a rule of thumb, never give out your personal details on the phone.
Medicare does not call beneficiaries to ask them for personal information, information about their new card or request money. If you receive such a call or are threatened that your benefits will be revoked should you refuse to provide information, hang up immediately and call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.
If you’re looking for medicare supplement plans NY and would like to enroll yourself or a loved one for it, get in touch with a Medicare advisor. Seniors for Medicare is a licensed medical insurance agency that offers a team of expert senior Medicare advisors in New York and New Jersey to help make your journey easy and hassle-free.
Reach out to us at 800-276-1753 to get in touch with a licensed agent.