It has been a few years in the making but the time is now here. In a move to help protect Medicare beneficiaries from Identity Theft, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) are beginning to gradually issue new Medicare cards that no longer use your Social Security number as part of your Medicare Claim number. The new cards will use a randomly generated 11 character MBI (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier) that is made up of numbers and letters. A sample of the new card is pictured above.
The goal is to issue the new cards to all Medicare Beneficiaries by April 2019. The plan is to issue cards through the next year based on geographic location. Florida will have their cards mailed out after June 2018. Medicare's mailing strategy is posted on CMS's website. Medicare will automatically mail out the card to the address on file for you; so it's worth while updating your address if necessary with Social Security.
With nearly 55 million Americans covered by Medicare; CMS has kindly reminded us that its a big job to get this done. They stress don't be alarmed if your neighbor is showing off their new card and you haven't received yours.
What About My Old Medicare Card?
Medicare advises once you get your new Medicare card, you can destroy your old Medicare and start using the new card right away. If you need any help with that, check out our events section; every year we host a Shred-a-Thon for our clients and friends. Its an opportunity to shred all your sensitive documents in bulk on the spot.
Watch Out For Scams
Ironically the entire effort is built on protecting your identity; however given the transition may cause some confusion be aware that scammers and con artists may be on the prowl. Medicare warns that they will never contact you out of the blue and ask you for your Medicare Claim number in order to get your card. To learn more about your new Medicare card visit: go.medicare.gov/newcard