To reduce the potential for fraud and identity theft, Medicare began issuing new Medicare cards and numbers in April 2018, and will continue through April 2019. Individuals on Medicare will be assigned a new “Medicare beneficiary identifier” and the card will arrive in the mail. It has been stated that our Illinois Medicare beneficiaries will likely get their cards this summer, however, be on the lookout as one of our CCHA residents received her new card in the mail last week.
You can start using your new Medicare card upon receipt, but there is a provision that will allow healthcare providers to accept either your old or new card until December 31, 2019. Medicare recommends you destroy your old card upon receipt of the new one.
The most important thing to know is that your new card changes nothing about your healthcare plan. You will have all the same doctors, premiums, and benefits you have now. You only need to watch your mail for the new card to arrive.
Scammers: While the new card will reduce the potential for fraud, it opens up an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of the situation. Following are tips to avoid Medicare card scams:
1. Medicare will never call, email or text you to ask for your personal information.
2. There is no cost for the new cards. If you are asked to pay a fee to expedite, it is a scam.
Please spread the word about potential scammers. Use your answering machine to screen callers or just do not answer a number you do not recognize.