Social Security Numbers Will No Longer Be Visible
Good news! In response to concerns about identity theft and fraud, Medicare is changing their ID cards.
If you currently are enrolled in Medicare, you will be receiving a new card in the mail. Social Security Numbers will no longer be shown on your card, and now you will have a Medicare Number that’s unique to you.
Medicare will be mailing new red, white, and blue paper Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. Card mailings will be staggered, so the timing will depend on your geographical location. Pennsylvania residents should start seeing cards in May, while NJ residents will see them start to arrive after June of this year. Newly eligible people will begin receiving the cards starting in April. You can check the status of card mailings in your area on medicare.gov/newcard.
The following tips are from the Medicare website, medicare.gov.
Your new card will be mailed to you automatically. You don’t need to do anything as long as your address is up-to-date. If you need to update your address, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213.
Once you receive your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away. Doctors, other health-care providers, and facilities will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care, so carry it with you. 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.
Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give out 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 so, hang up and call 1-800-Medicare. It’s a good idea to make a copy of your new card and keep that with other important documents in the case of loss. If you have additional questions about the new ID card, visit medicare.gov/newcard for more information.
Contributor: Kelly-Anne Shoaf