8 things to know about your new Medicare ID card


Every Medicare beneficiary is about to receive a new and improved health insurance card!

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says the replacement cards are more secure. They’re being issued to help protect your identity and keep your personal information safe.

Read on to learn more about why Medicare is making this change and when you can expect your card…

New Medicare ID cards: Answers to 8 frequently asked questions

1. Why is Medicare issuing new health insurance cards?: Medicare is removing Social Security numbers from the cards to fight fraud and identity theft. Your new card will have an 11-character Medicare Number made up of numbers and letters.

2. When will I receive my Medicare card?: Starting in April 2018, the cards will gradually be mailed to everyone with Medicare based on geographic location and other factors.

You can sign up to receive an email when your card is in the mail at medicare.gov/newcard.

Updated September 2018 (Image: Medicare.gov)
Updated September 2018 (Image: Medicare.gov)

3. Do I need to do anything to get my new Medicare card?: No, just make sure your address is current. Medicare will automatically mail you a card to the address you have on file with Social Security. Here’s how to update it.

4. What should I do with my old card?: Once you get your new card, Medicare says you should destroy the old one and start using the new card right away.

5. Do I have to use my new card immediately?: During a transition period, both cards will be accepted when you go to your doctor’s office or the hospital. You must use the new card starting January 1, 2020.


6. What if I’m enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan?: Your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare, so you should still keep and use it. Just remember to carry your new Medicare card as well.

7. Is there a charge to receive a new Medicare card?: No, the card is free. If someone contacts you and says you need to pay for your new Medicare card, it’s a scam!

Here’s what Medicare posted on its website:

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

8. Will the new card be paper or plastic?: Your new card is paper, which Medicare says is easier for many providers to use and copy. You can purchase a plastic ID card holder to protect your card.

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