The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. If you are currently on Original Medicare, new to Medicare, or enrolling after April 2018, here’s what you need to know.
To help prevent fraud and protect your identity, CMS is removing your Social Security number from your Medicare card and replacing it with a new Medicare Number. The Medicare Number is a randomly generated number, totally unique to you, and will only be used for your Medicare coverage. Your Medicare benefits stay the same.
When will I receive my new Medicare card?
CMS will start mailing new cards to new enrollees in Medicare this April 2018. Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska residents who are currently on Medicare are scheduled to start receiving their cards after June 2018. The mailing will take several months, so don’t worry if your friend or neighbor receives their card before you do.
You can start using your new card as soon as you receive it. Your Polyclinic provider’s office will ask to scan your new card to ensure we have your new Medicare Number in our records. Keep your new card in safe place, and be sure to destroy your old red, white, and blue Medicare card.
What if I am on a Medicare drug plan, Medigap (Supplemental), or Medicare Advantage plan?
Your policies will not change. Continue to use your current plan cards, in addition to your new Medicare card when it arrives.
How to prepare
Make sure your mailing address is up to date.
If you have changed your address recently, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) to make corrections.
Protect your personal information.
Be wary of anyone demanding information or money to provide your new Medicare card. If someone calls and asks for your Medicare information or threatens to cancel your health benefits, simply hang up. CMS will never ask you to provide personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Call 1-800-MEDICARE if you believe you are a victim of identity theft or Medicare fraud.
Visit Medicare.gov/NewCard and sign up for email updates to be notified when the mailing occurs in your state. If you have any questions or if you don’t get your new Medicare card by April 2019, call 1-800-MEDICARE.
Wondering what to do if you lose your new Medicare card?
Don’t worry: you can still get a replacement card by contacting 1-800-MEDICARE. And if you forgot your new card at home, old Medicare cards will still be accepted at provider’s offices through 2019.