Your new Medicare card is on its way, and for millions has already arrived. The new red, white and blue cards are long overdue, and offer significant relief from Medicare fraud and identity theft. New cards will go to both existing and new Medicare beneficiaries. People signing up for Medicare for the first time will be the first to receive them.
Until now, your Medicare ID was your Social Security number followed by a letter. This has been the cause of countless fraud and identity theft cases. As a result, the new cards use random letters and numbers chosen by Medicare. The new cards also have a new design, making them easy to recognize as the new card.
Medicare will send you your new card automatically. As long as your address is up to date, you don’t need to do anything. Once your new Medicare card arrives in the mail, destroy your old card and start using your new one.
With the new card comes a whole new set of scams, so beware. Beware of Scams! Medicare.gov says, “Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us 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 someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang up and call us at 1-800-MEDICARE.”
Here are some helpful tips on keeping your new card safe:
- Your new card is free, so don’t pay anyone to send it to you.
- Always keep your Medicare card in a safe place.
- Don’t give out your 11-digit Medicare ID.
- Guard your Medicare card like it’s a credit card.
- Never share or confirm your Medicare number or Social Security number with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance.
- Unless you ask them to, Medicare will never contact you to ask for your Medicare number or other personal information. Medicare already has your information.
- Don’t ever let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number. If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE.
- Give your Medicare number only to those you know should have it, such as doctors, pharmacists or your health insurer.
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE to report suspected fraud.