Medicare Cards are being redesigned for your security
As long as Medicare has been around the ID number for most Americans has been their (or their spouses) Social Security number followed by an identifying letter.
The original card is on the left. The New Medicare Card is on the right
Medicare will mail new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. The new card will have a new Medicare number that is unique to the person with Medicare, instead of their Social Security Number. It will help to protect their identity. your card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claim status. And it will all happen automatically – you won’t have to pay anyone or give anyone information, no matter what someone might tell you. For more information, go to CMS.gov.
What do you need to do?
Don’t send anyone money for your card.
There are no forms to complete for a new card.
Everything will happen automatically.
The only possibility of not receiving it automatically is if you move and don’t update social security of your new location, but need to contact Social Security or Medicare directly. They will not call you to find out your new address.
With the epidemic of identity theft and medical billing fraud the decision to change the the number is long since overdue, but it also means new opportunities for scammers.
According to AARP there have already been reports of scams on the new cards. “Some Medicare recipients report getting calls from scamsters who tell them that they must pay for the new card and then ask them for their checking account and Medicare card numbers. Don’t give out either number.”
“Anyone saying they are going to charge you for a card is a scammer,” says Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy with the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego. “In the case of CMS, they will never need you to tell them what your Medicare card number is because they already know it.”