Earlier this year it was announced that the Medicare card was going to undergo an overhaul - but why did it need a redesign?
The new paper card is currently being sent to recipients throughout the country, with all cards to be replaced in a little under a year.
If you’re automatically enrolled to receive Medicare your card will be mailed out to you 3 months before you celebrate your 65th birthday, or on your 25th month of receiving disability benefits.
With that in mind, here’s 4 things you need to know about your new Medicare card:
(1) What do I need to do?
You don’t need to take any action, unless you’ve moved. Let Medicare know your new address by updating your Social Security account by following the link below: https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/
When your new Medicare card arrives you can begin using it right away, but it’s important to make sure that you destroy your old card. By shredding or burning the old card, you can protect yourself against identity theft.
Your Medicare benefits will stay the same, so don’t worry about any changes.
(2) When will I get my new card?
If you are living in the New York, Connecticut, or New Jersey area, you can expect to receive your new card in the mail any day now. Medicare has a handy email service which lets you know when your card is on its way. To sign up for the email alert, click here: https://www.medicare.gov/newcard/
Medicare began sending out the new cards in April, and is aiming to have all of the old cards replaced by April 2019.
(3)What will the new card look like?
The new card will have a unique Medicare number printed on it instead of your SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN).
A random combination of letters and numbers, called your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), will be below your name on the card. Your new MBI won’t include the letters S, L, O, I, B, and Z as sometimes these letters can be confused for numbers (for example, 0 and O).
Social Security numbers are omitted from the new cards in a bid to crack down on identity theft and to keep the taxpayers’ public purse safe.
Here's a look at the old card, and the four elements that will be changed:
This is the new card:
At the bottom of the card it will say what your entitlements are (Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance), or both); alongside the dates that they came into action.
The new card will be paper, to make it easier for healthcare professionals to take copies of.
Be sure to protect your new MBI as you would protect your Social Security number. You can show this number to healthcare professionals, doctors, pharmacists, insurers, and people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
(4) What about the Medicare Advantage Plan ID card?
You should keep your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card if you’re a recipient of a Medicare Advantage Plan, such as an HMO or PPO. If you’re on a Medicare drug plan, make sure to keep that card as well.
Although you have these others cards, be sure to carry your new Medicare card as you may be asked to show it.
If you have any questions about Medicare and if you’d like to learn how to maximize your entitlements give one of our friendly Medicare experts a call on 646-745-9122 for a free consultation.
With Medicare Medicaid Advisory Group, you’re in safe hands.
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