medicare cards
Posted on April 4th, 2018 by Speare Memorial Hospital

Medicare Cards with New Design Being Mailed this Month

Removing Social Security numbers strengthens fraud protections for about 58 million Americans

If you are a Medicare beneficiary, please watch your mail closely over the next few months for your newly designed Medicare card. The new Medicare card contains a unique, randomly-assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number.

Starting in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin mailing the new cards to people with Medicare. This will meet the statutory deadline for replacing all existing Medicare cards by April 2019. In addition, people with Medicare will also be able to see the design of the new Medicare card in the 2018 Medicare & You Handbook which were mailed in September 2017.

“The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identify theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We’re very excited to share the new design.”

CMS has assigned all people with Medicare benefits a new, unique Medicare number, which contains a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. People with Medicare will receive a new Medicare card in the mail and will be instructed to safely and securely destroy their current Medicare card and keep their new Medicare number confidential. Issuance of the new number will not change benefits that people with Medicare receive.

medicare cards

Medicare beneficiaries should begin bringing their new card with them to healthcare visits as soon as they receive it. Here is the way this will work:

  • NEWLY ELIGIBLE Medicare beneficiaries will get a card with a unique number, regardless of their geographic location.
  • Distribution of cards for current beneficiaries will be randomized by geographic location.
  • Starting in APRIL, people with Medicare will be able to go to Medicare.gov/newcard to sign up for emails about the card mailing, and to check the card mailing status in their state.
  • People with Medicare should use the new card once they receive it, but either the Social Security Number-based (old) card or the new random alphanumeric-based numbers can be used through December 2019.
  • Beginning January 1, 2020, only the new card will be usable.

Healthcare providers at Speare Memorial Hospital and individuals with Medicare will be able to use secure look-up tools that will allow quick access to the new Medicare numbers when needed. There will also be a 21-month transition period where doctors, healthcare providers, and suppliers will be able to use either their current SSN-based Medicare Number or their new, unique Medicare number, to ease the transition.

This initiative takes important steps towards protecting the identities of people with Medicare. For more information, please visit: www.cms.gov/newcard

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