You may have heard that Medicare is sending out new ID cards soon. The new cards will have an 11-digit ID number instead of your Social Security number to better protect against Social Security fraud and ID theft. Here are some important things to know about the transition:
- New Medicare cards will be sent out April 2018 through April 2019. Depending upon which state you live in, you may receive your card earlier or later within this window.
- You will get your new Medicare card automatically. If your address needs to be updated, contact Social Security at gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213.
- Doctor’s offices will accept either card through December 31, 2019. Your provider can also look up your Medicare ID number at your appointment.
- The new Medicare cards apply only to Original Medicare, and not to Medicare Advantage, Medigap, or Medicare Part D drug plans. These other plans have separate ID cards, as they are all managed by private insurance companies.
- Scammers are taking advantage of confusion around this transition. Do not provide your current or new Medicare ID number to anyone who contacts you asking for this information. After you receive your new card, shred your old card to prevent the number from being stolen.
For more information, you can read the Medicare announcement here: https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/12002-New-Medicare-Card-flyer.pdf and Time magazine explains more about the new cards here: http://time.com/money/5212975/theres-a-major-medicare-change-taking-place-heres-everything-you-need-to-know/