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Are you one of the over 55 million people in America enrolled in Medicare?  You should know that starting next month, Medicare will be mailing out new cards.

Your card will have a new and unique 11 digit number instead of your social security number. This will help protect you from identity fraud and keep your personal information more secure. The new card won’t change your coverage or your benefits.

The best part?  You don’t have to do anything.  Medicare will automatically mail your new card to the address you have on file with Social Security at no charge.  If you need to update your mailing address, you can contact Social Security at www.ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213.

Mailing everyone a new card will take some time. Your card might arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.  Effective April 1, 2018, all NEW Medicare enrollees will receive the new cards. Connecticut residents should start receiving their cards after June 30, 2018 and before April 1, 2019. More information will be available on medicare.gov

Your new card will arrive in a plain envelope to help prevent fraud. Your new card is paper and will look like this…

Once you receive your new Medicare card….

  • Destroy your old Medicare card.
  • Treat your new Medicare Number like you treat your Social Security Number or credit card numbers.
  • Use your new card. Health care providers and plans approved by Medicare are ready to accept your new card.

A few other helpful tips…

  • 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.
  • The new card only applies to original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B). 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 carry it at all times.

As always, beware of scams…

Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give personal or private information.  Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare Number) by contacting you. If someone asks you for your information, money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang up immediately and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).