Several months ago, Medicare sent out a notification saying they would be issuing new cards to all Medicare recipients. The new cards started mailing in April 2018, and to meet the statutory deadline, all cards will be replaced by April, 2019. The schedule for delivery is based on your geographic location. Medicare explains that your new cards will not contain your Social Security number as a way to help protect against identity theft and prevent fraud. The new red, white and blue insurance cards will instead have a unique 11 digit number on them.
This is a good idea but we want you to be aware that Medicare has issued a warning to seniors to be on the lookout for fraudsters trying to exploit them. One way they are doing this is by posing as Medicare representatives and calling recipients asking for the 11 digit number from their card. Please Note that Medicare states they do not and will not call recipients. They strongly advise against giving out your new number over the phone to anyone and remind recipients that Medicare only operates via the US Mail.
Furthermore Medicare asks that you help to get the word out by warning family and friends that they may be at risk for these scams. Reiterate not to give out any information over the phone to anyone claiming to be a representative of Medicare.
Your new card will automatically come to you and you do not need to do anything as long as your address is up to date. If you need to update your address, go online or give them a call. Also keep in mind that your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s as mailing takes time. Your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
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