Does Medicare know where you live?

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Medicare is taking the necessary steps to protect Medicare beneficiaries from identity theft.

Medicare is removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and mailing each person a new card. Between April 2018 and April 2019, new cards will be issued to each Medicare recipient with a unique Medicare number — a non-intelligent alpha numeric sequence such as 1EG4-TE5-MK72.

The number will only be used for your Medicare coverage, thereby keeping your information more secure and protecting your identity.

The new card will not change your Medicare coverage or benefits. It will not affect your supplemental, Medicare Advantage, or prescription drug plans. You will receive more information from Medicare when your new card is mailed.

You do not need to contact Medicare to receive a new card. This is how you need to get ready:

• Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.

• Beware of anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare card. Medicare or Social Security will never ask you to give them personal or private information to get your new Medicare number and card.

• Understand that mailing everyone a new card will take some time. Your card might arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s or spouse’s card.

– Submitted by Joshua Kennedy