Healthy Tips for Seniors: New Medicare Cards are Coming
Beginning April 2018, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be issuing new Medicare cards to its current members. For those who will be obtaining a Medicare care for the first time, you will receive the new card automatically. The change is prompted by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 that requires the removal of Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards by April 2019. Removing the social security number from the Medicare card is intended to prevent fraud and identify theft.
10 things to know about your new Medicare card
- Your new card will automatically come to you. You don’t need to do anything as long as your address is up to date. If you need to update your address, visit your mySocial Security account.
- Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity.
- Your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
- Mailing takes time. Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
- Your new card is paper, which is easier for many providers to use and copy.
- Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away.
- 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.
- Doctors, other health care providers and facilities know this change is coming and will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care, so carry it with you. By January 2019, healthcare providers will only be able to use the new Medicare Card for billing.
- Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
- If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.
Watch out for scams. Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give personal
or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card.
This independent living in Houston community is fortunate to have the expertise of a nurse from a home health care Houston company, Senior Allegiance Home Health, to advise assisted living in Houston residents on best care practices. Click www.treemont.com/blog to view more Healthy Tips for Seniors.