New Medicare Cards are Coming!
Medicare is sending all enrollees a new Medicare card. Residents in our area should be receiving their new card shortly or may have already received it. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity. You will need to bring your new card with you to your appointments to see your provider for all visits including your Medicare Annual Wellness Exam.
10 Things to know about your new Medicare card
1. Mailing takes time: Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
2. Destroy your old Medicare card: Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away.
3. Guard your card: Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
4. Your Medicare Number is unique: Your card has a new number instead of your Social Security Number. This new number is unique to you.
5. Your new card is paper: Paper cards are easier for many providers to use and copy, and they save taxpayers a lot of money. Plus, you can print your own replacement card if you need one!
6. Keep your new card with you: Carry your new card and show it to your health care providers when you need care.
7. Your doctor knows it’s coming: Doctors, other health care facilities and providers will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care.
8. You can find your number: If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.
9. Keep your Medicare Advantage Card: If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare – you should still keep and use it whenever you need care. However, you also may be asked to show your new Medicare card, so you should carry this card too.
10. Help is available: If you don’t get your new Medicare card by April 2019, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Watch out for scams
Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare Number) by contacting you about your new card. If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Personal identity theft affects a large and growing number of seniors. People age 65 or older are increasingly the victims of this type of crime. Incidents among seniors increased to 2.6 million from 2.1 million between 2012 and 2014, according to the most current statistics from the Department of Justice. Identity theft can take not only an emotional toll on those who experience it, but also a financial one: two-thirds of all identity theft victims reported a direct financial loss. It can also disrupt lives, damage credit ratings and result in inaccuracies in medical records and costly false claims.
What do the new Medicare cards mean for you?
The MBI won’t change Medicare benefits. People with Medicare may start using their new Medicare cards and MBIs as soon as they get them. The effective date of the new cards, like the old cards, is the date each beneficiary was or is eligible for Medicare. Once beneficiaries get their new Medicare cards with an MBI, they can use their new cards to enroll in a Medicare health (Medicare Advantage) or drug plan. Those Medicare beneficiaries who do choose to enroll in Medicare health and/or drug plans will still also get an insurance card from their health and/or drug plans. As always, while beneficiaries are enrolled in health and/or drug plans, they should use the cards from those plans when they get health care and/or prescriptions. Remember to bring in your new Medicare card when you visit the clinic. To schedule an appointment at Madison Healthcare Services call us today at 320-598-7551.