10 Things to Know about Your New Medicare Card

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Have you heard the news? Your new Medicare card is being mailed. If you haven’t received yours yet, you should be getting it by April of 2019.

The new card will help prevent fraud and identity theft by not listing your Social Security number. Instead, it will list a new MBI, or Medicare Beneficiary Number.

10 things to know about your new card

Confused about what to do once you get your new card? Here are the top ten things you need to know.

  1. Make sure the address you have on file with Social Security is current. Visit your mySocial Security account to update your address if you need to. You don’t need to do anything special to get your new card – it will automatically be sent to you as long as your address is current.
  2. Instead of your Social Security number, your new card will list an 11-character Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that’s unique to you.

Your new Medicare card has a new design but is still red, white, and blue. It does not include your sex like the old card did, and it includes your new Medicare number. It does not include a place for you to sign on the front like the old card. The new card is made out of paper.

  1. Nothing will change with your Medicare coverage and benefits. These will stay the same.
  2. Even if your neighbor already received their card, don’t worry. Mailing all of the cards takes time, and everyone in your area may not receive their cards at the same time. To get an email when your new card is in the mail, visit Medicare’s site.

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  1. You new Medicare card is made of paper, making it easier for many doctors to use and easier for making copies.
  2. Once you receive your new card, you can go ahead and destroy your old one and start using the new card right away. 

  1. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your MA plan card will still be the main card you use for health benefits. Also hold onto your Part D drug plan card and use that one when needed. Even if these two are your primary cards, still keep your new Medicare card with you in case you are asked to show it.
  2. Keep your card with you so that you can use it whenever you need medical care. If you forget to bring your card, your health care provider may be able to look up your new Medicare number online.
  3. Only give out your card information to doctors, pharmacists and health care providers. Even though the new card doesn’t have your social security number on it, you are still vulnerable to fraud and identity theft if anyone gets a hold of your new Medicare number. Keep it safe and guarded just as you would a credit card. 
  4. Remember that Medicare will not contact you to ask for your personal information – they already have your information. If someone calls you asking for your personal information, hang up the phone and report the caller to Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE. See other ways to avoid and report fraud.

If you lose your card or if your card is damaged, you will be able to print your own new replacement card on MyMedicare.gov. 

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