The federal government has begun mailing new Medicare cards to 59 million Americans. You should keep track of when your new card will arrive and contact Medicare if you don’t receive it.
As we previously reported, to prevent fraud and fight identity theft, the federal government is issuing new cards to all Medicare beneficiaries that will no longer have beneficiaries’ Social Security numbers on them. The government began mailing the cards in April 2018 and the new cards should be completely distributed by April 2019. The cards are being mailed in phases based on the state the beneficiary lives in.
Medicare starting mailing new cards to Indiana residents in June. To check the status of your card, go here: https://www.medicare.gov/newcard/. Keep in mind, it can take up to a month to receive the card. If you do not receive a card when the government has finished mailing the cards in Indiana (August), contact Medicare right away at 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227) or 1-877-486-2048 for TTY users.
You can also sign up to receive an email when the card is mailed to you. If your mailing address is not up to date, call 800-772-1213, visit www.ssa.gov, or go to a local Social Security office to update it.
If you haven’t received the new card yet, keep using the old card. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, the Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card, but your doctor may want to see your new Medicare card as well, so keep it handy.
As we reported, phone scammers are using the introduction of the new cards as an opportunity to separate Medicare beneficiaries from their money. One of the main scams that has emerged is a call requiring payment before the card can be issued. The cards are free and you don’t need to do anything to get yours. For more on the scams and what to do if you fall victim, see Reuters columnist Mark Miller’s recent column.
For information on the new cards, go here: https://www.medicare.gov/newcard/.
Jeff is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, a distinction held by only a handful of lawyers in Indiana. For almost 20 years, he has focused on elder law, estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, Veterans Affairs benefits planning, special needs planning, guardianships, and estate administration.