What is happening?
- This April, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin mailing new Medicare cards. You don’t need to do anything and your benefits won’t change. You can use your new card as soon as you receive it.
- There are over 50 million people enrolled in Medicare, so the roll-out of the new card will take place over the following 12 months
Why are the cards changing?
- The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 requires that social security numbers be removed by April 2019.
- To reduce your risk of identity theft and illegal use of your benefits. Social security numbers tracked earnings for social security. Today, Social Security identify individuals for financial purposes. For this reason, it is good practice to keep your social security number private, and separate from your date of birth and address.
What is different?
- Your social security number will no longer be on the card. Instead you will see a new, 11 digit number. This identifier, called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), is randomly generated and is not associated with your social security number.
- Your new MBI number is confidential – protect it
Watch out for scammers already taking advantage of the new card. Remember, the new card is free and you do not need to do anything to receive it. If you receive a call about Medicare, do not share information – Medicare will not call you. If you are unsure, always hang up and call back using the number on your card.
Read this helpful article from AARP