There are 60 million Americans who are on the Federal Health Plan – Medicare. Congress mandated a change in 2015 to the Medicare cards and their information used by Medicare participants. These new cards with their information have been distributed to all Medicare users from April 2018 through April 2019.
These new cards DO NOT change your benefits. The new cards and the system behind their use will be helpful in protecting your personal information. Previously, the cards used the recipient’s Social Security number as his or her Medicare number, which posed a risk of identity theft.
Watch out for scams!
While the cards are safer, criminals are always alert to new ways of scamming people. There have been numerous reports that some Medicare recipients have received calls asking for a fee in order to deliver a new Medicare card, or asking for personal information before a new card can be issued. As people across the country receive new, safer Medicare cards in the mail, advocates are warning about fraudulent callers who try to dupe people into paying money or divulging personal information.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card.” There is no fee for the new card, they are automatically sent to your address.
You can still use your old card through December 2019. After that date processing your medical bills will be more difficult. If you haven’t received your new Medicare card it could possibly be due to a change of address. You can contact the Social Security Administration about your new card several ways: ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213.
This is a much-needed change for your protection and be sure you have received or asked for your NEW MEDICARE CARD.