I’m pleased to report that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have started to mail new Medicare cards to beneficiaries.
Instead of a Social Security Number (SSN), the new cards will have a Medicare number that’s unique to each beneficiary. The new card will help protect identities and secure personal information. Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
Medicare will automatically mail new cards at no cost to the address on file here at Social Security. So please make sure the address of anyone you’re helping is up-to-date. An address can be updated easily by using my Social Security.
As Medicare beneficiaries begin to receive their replacement cards, please share these three tips with them:
- Once you get your New Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new one right away. Don’t just throw the old card away—shred it or cut it into small pieces.
- Doctors, other health care providers, and plans approved by Medicare know that Medicare is replacing your old card. They’re ready to accept your new card when you need care.
- Beware of anyone contacting you about your new Medicare card and asking for your Medicare number, personal information, or to pay a fee for your new card. Treat your Medicare number like you treat your Social Security or credit card numbers. Remember, you don’t need to do anything to get your new card. Medicare will never contact you uninvited to ask for your personal information.
In addition, just last month Social Security started removing the SSN from many of its notices and forms to prevent fraud, fight identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars. These communications also include benefit-verification notices, Social Security post-entitlement notices, and certain documents sent to appointed representatives. The benefit-verification letter includes the recipient’s name and address. The SSN isn’t intended to serve as identification, nor should it be used as such by third parties.
Please share this information through your networks. For more information about the new Medicare card, click medicare.gov/newcard. You can also check Medicare.gov for tips to prevent Medicare fraud.
As always, thank you for your interest in our programs and the people we serve!
Acting Associate Commissioner, External Affairs