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New Medicare Card

Beginning April of 2018, the government will start sending out new Medicare cards, launching a yearlong effort to reach 59 million people enrolled in Medicare.  Prior to this, Medicare cards have the individual’s Social Security number on them.  This has been problematic, because if a wallet or purse was lost or stolen, someone could use the information from the Medicare card and steal that person’s identity.

The new Medicare cards will not include a Social Security number.  It will contain a 11-digit Medicare number.  There will be some bumps along the way, so you can continue to use your old Medicare card until Dec. 2019. Florida residents are scheduled to start receiving their new Medicare cards after June 2018.  If a friend or family member in a different state gets their card first, don’t fret.  The cards are scheduled to go out at different times.

If you think Social Security might not have your current address, call 1-800-772-1213 or check your online Social Security account at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

When you get your new Medicare card, it is recommended that you shred or cut up your old card before putting it in the trash.

Social Security or Medicare will never contact you via phone asking for your Social Security or old Medicare number.  If this happens to you – hang up.  This is a scam.  For example, Joe Hernandez, 65, who lives in California received a call from a man who told him that Medicare was going to issue new cards and that he needed to verify some information, including his name, address and Social Security number.  Joe said no – he doesn’t give his social security number out, so the caller put his “supervisor” on the phone, who said the government needed to make sure it had the correct information.  Joe gave his Social Security number, and as soon as he gave, the caller hung up the phone. Joe was just scammed!

THE NEW MEDICARE CARDS ARE FREE, AND YOU DON’T NEED TO DO ANYTHING TO RECEIVE ONE:  THEY’RE BEING SENT AUTOMATICALLY TO EVERYONE ENROLLED IN THE PROGRAM.  DON’T GIVE OUT ANY INFORMATION TO CALLERS WHO CONTACT YOU BY PHONE.

If you suspect fraud, report it to the Federal Trade Commission fraud line 1-877-438-4338.