Medicare Cards Receive New Look to Protect Your Identity

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced the next step in its fraud prevention initiative that will remove Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards. This will help combat identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars. With this, nearly 58 million American beneficiaries will begin receiving new Medicare cards this year – of that, two million beneficiaries are Floridians.

According to CMS, the new cards will use a unique, randomly assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), to replace the Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) currently used on the Medicare card. CMS began mailing new cards in April 2018, and has an anticipated completion date of April 2019. Florida cardholders should expect to begin receiving their cards in June 2018.

As a cardholder/beneficiary, what does this mean for you?

  1. Your benefits will not change.

  2. Your new card will automatically come to you in the mail -- you don't need to do anything as long as your address is up to date. If you need to update your address, visit your My Social Security account online, or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

  3. Mailing all of the cards will take time, so you might get your card at a different time than your spouse, friend, or neighbor.

  4. Once you receive your new card in the mail, you can begin using it immediately.

  5. No signature line will be located on the new card – you won’t need to sign anything to begin using your card and receiving benefits.

  6. There will no longer be a gender-identifier on the card.

  7. When you receive your new card, please safely and securely destroy your current Medicare card(s) and keep your new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier confidential.

  8. Your new Medicare Number will be a unique combination of numbers and letters (The letters S, L, O, I, B, and Z are never used).

  9. Beware of scammers contacting you about your new card – Social Security and CMS will not be making calls to confirm any of your personal information.

  10. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020 - only new cards will be accepted.

Please remember, if someone asks you for your personal information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don't share your personal information, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

If you would like more information on the CMS new Medicare card initiative, please go online to Medicare.gov/Newcard/.

If you have questions regarding your Social Security Disability/SSI claim, or would like more information on Social Security Disability, please contact us at 813.495.8787, or visit us online at Montefuconsulting.com.