Health and Nutrition
New Medicare cards
Today, more than ever, we need to safeguard our personal information and identity. To assist in this effort, Medicare recipients will receive new cards with unique numbers to use instead of ones with their personal identification numbers.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is now required to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. The new cards will use a unique, randomly-assigned number, referred to as a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), to replace the Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) currently used on Medicare cards.
New cards started mailing this month; however, Kansas residents are in the third batch of mailings and can expect theirs after June 2018. Additional details on timing will be available as the mailings progress.
A few things to help the process go smoothly include:
- Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or call 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.
- Beware of anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare card. Medicare will never ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card.
Also, remember, your new Medicare card will automatically come to you. You don’t need to anything as long as your address is up to date. The new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This helps protect your identity. Your Medicare coverage and benefits will not change.
Some other things to keep in mind:
- 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 one and start using your new card right away.
- If you’re I a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare---you should keep and still 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, and other health care providers and facilities know the new cards are coming and will as you for your new card when you need care, so carry it with you.
- 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 number for you.
You and your providers will be able to use the secure look-up tools online that will support quick access to MBIs when they need them. There will also be a 21-month transition period where providers will be able to use either the MBI or the HICN to ease the transition for both you and the providers.
For addition information, go to medicare.gov, or call the Golden Prairie Extension District office at 785-671-3245.
Family Consumer Sciences serves the county residents, our communities and all that affects the family. We provide information for family systems, child care, nutrition education for youth and adults, finance information, aging and elderly issues, fitness and health activities and much more!
With K-State Research and Extension resources, county extension agents have a wealth of research to reference, with specialists in the field to provide quality, timely answers to questions and to provide programming on topics residents need to prepare for.