You may be aware that the government has been sending out new Medicare cards to all enrollees since last April. With over 60 million enrollees, sending out these new Medicare cards has been a gradual, nearly year-long process.
If you are a Medicare enrollee who has yet to receive your new card, we have good news.
All new Medicare cards have been sent!
Medicare.gov recently announced that they have sent out all remaining new Medicare cards. According to their announcement, all enrollees should have received their cards by now.
If you still haven’t received your new card, this would be a good time to double check any unopened mail. The new Medicare cards were sent in plain white envelope from the Department of Health and Human Services. Designed to be intentionally inconspicuous, this important piece of mail could have easily passed below your radar.
If this is the first time you are hearing about the new Medicare card, continue reading to learn more about what has changed and what steps you should take when you receive yours.
How is the new Medicare card different?
The new Medicare card was designed to be safer for enrollees. Previous cards used individuals’ social security numbers as their Medicare identifier. This of course was not ideal as it left enrollees more vulnerable to identity theft and other nefarious scams. Along with your new card, you will receive a new 11-character Medicare number (which may also contain letters). This number will now serve as your unique identifier within the Medicare program.
Of course, you’ll still want to do your due diligence to keep the new card safe. While you won’t need to worry about a misplaced Medicare card exposing your social security number, malicious people with bad intentions could still do damage if they got a hold of your new Medicare card. Take the normal precautions you would to protect any other important personal documents.
What should I do with my old Medicare card?
In their announcement, Medicare.gov outlined some specific steps you should take as soon as you receive your new card.
Step 1: Destroy your old card.
While it may be tempting to keep your old card for your records, this is not worth the potential risk to your personal information. To protect your social security number, we recommend shredding your old Medicare card and ensuring that you dispose of it safely.
Step 2: Protect your new Medicare card & Medicare number
As mentioned before, you want to treat your new Medicare card and your new Medicare number as you would any other credit card or important personal document. Take the proper steps to ensure you know where your card is at all times, and don’t share your new Medicare number with anyone other than the healthcare providers who need it to administer care. Be wary of scammers calling or emailing to “confirm” personal information related to your new card. If you receive such a call, you should report it directly to Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE.
For more tips & tricks for protecting yourself and your personal information online, visit the article below.
Step 3: Begin using your new card
Healthcare providers are aware of the new Medicare cards, and they will ask you to provide it when you seek care. Make sure you have your new Medicare card (and any other necessary plan ID cards) before leaving the house for any healthcare appointments.
Who do I contact if my card does not arrive soon?
If you have not yet received your new Medicare card or are worried that you may have accidentally discarded it, you have a few options for following up.
You can login to your secure MyMedicare.gov account to see your new Medicare number and print a temporary version of your card. If you do not yet have an account, you can create one at no cost to you.
Alternatively, you can speak directly with one of Medicare’s call center representatives at 1-800-MEDICARE.