2nd Quarter 2018

New Medicare Cards Coming – and How to Avoid Scams

If you’re on Medicare, you should be receiving a new card soon. But you should also be on the lookout for scams.

In an effort to protect against identity theft, Medicare will be replacing everyone’s Medicare cards with new ones that include a unique 11-digit Medicare identifier rather than your Social Security number. The agency is sending out the new cards to all Medicare beneficiaries from April 2018 to April 2019, with the time frame based on your state. Go to www.medicare.gov/newcard to find out when to expect your new card.

You will get your new card automatically and don’t need to do anything, other than make sure that the Social Security Administration has your current mailing address. You can update your address through your My Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount or by calling the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213. Be aware of scam artists who are taking advantage of this change to steal money and personal information. There is no charge for the new card, and Medicare will not call asking for your Social Security or bank information in order to send you a new card.

The new card won’t change your benefits, and you can use it as soon as you receive it. If you have a separate card for a Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription-drug plan, you should keep that card, too.

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