Your new Medicare card is on the way. Avoid scams with these tips.
In an effort to improve the security of your identity, the Social Security Administration has decided to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. That means all Medicare beneficiaries will receive new cards in the mail sometime over the next year. When transitions like this occur, it’s common for scammers to try and take advantage of people’s confusion about the change. Here’s a few quick things to know to keep your information safe.
What to know
- Everyone who receives Medicare benefits will receive a new card, free of charge.
- New cards will be distributed automatically in waves between June 2018 and April 2019 depending on where you live or when you enrolled. There is no action you need to take to receive it.
- Your new card will be red, white, and blue, and no longer include your Social Security number. Instead, you’ll notice an 11-digit identifier that includes both numbers and letters—similar to non-Medicare healthcare cards. This is to help protect your personal information from being more accessible to those who may abuse it.
Tips for avoiding scams
- Cards will be distributed free of charge. Never accept a call, email, or advertisement asking you to pay a fee of any kind to receive your new card.
- You will never have to verify your identity to receive your new card. If you are enrolled in Medicare, your card will send automatically. Do not give your personal information over the phone or online.
- Never give your bank information over the phone or online to accept a balance transfer, pay a fee, avoid cancellation of your policy, or verify who you are.
- Medicare will rarely call you uninvited. When in doubt about a phone call or an email asking for your information, contact Medicare directly at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
UMA is a partner you can trust throughout your Medicare journey. If you have questions about potential threats related to this change, give us a call. We’re ready to answer your questions about what you can expect.
For more information about the new cards, visit Medicare.gov.