Articles, activities for boomers & seniors
There are big changes coming to your Medicare card next year. Starting in April of 2018, people with Medicare will begin to receive NEW Medicare cards with one major difference – your Medicare number, which is your Social Security number, will not be on the card. Because of increased concerns about identity theft and other safety reasons, your Social Security number will be replaced by a random 11-digit number that is unique to you with no identifying information. This change is being made to protect the security of your information, and your identity.
The new Medicare cards, which will be sent by mail by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), begin arriving in April 2018 and all people with Medicare should receive their cards by the end of April 2019. You can begin using your NEW Medicare card right away. Remember to shred your old card after you receive your new card.
Quick Tips to Remember:
Medicare will be mailing the new Medicare card starting in April 2018 and continue through April 2019. Understand that mailing everyone a new card will take some time. Your card might arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
You do not need to do anything! This change will be automatic. If someone calls you and says they need to confirm your identity, or your Medicare number, it’s a SCAM. Medicare and Social Security will not call you. Do not give out your personal information. If you get a call from someone and you’re just not sure, hang up and call the PA-SMP.
Your benefits will stay the same. The new Medicare numbers will not change anything in your coverage. You can start using your new card as soon as you receive it. When you receive your new card, shred your old card.
There is no charge for the new card. The card is free. No one should tell you there is a one-time fee, or that you will lose benefits if you don’t pay a fee or answer their questions.
If you have any questions, or think you may have been the target of potential fraud or identity theft, please call the Pennsylvania Senior Medicare Patrol at CARIE toll-free at 1-800-356-3606. Help is always free and confidential. You can also visit carie.org for more information.