Medicare has announced they’ve started mailing new Medicare cards to New Jersey this month. As we’ve written before, the new Medicare card is designed to prevent fraud. Until now, your Social Security number with a suffix served as your Medicare ID number. This left your Social Security number open to fraudsters and identity thiefs.
Now, each Medicare member is receiving a randomly generated ID consisting of 11 letters and numbers. Medicare started mailing the cards in May, and they’re just reaching New Jersey this month. You may have already received the new card, but if you haven’t, don’t worry. Your card is probably on its way to you right now.
Here are some things to keep in mind about your new Medicare card:
- When the new card comes, treat it as you would any other protected health information. Place it securely in your wallet, and only show it to your medical providers.
- Immediately after you receive your new card, destroy your old card. It contains your social security number and can be used to steal your identity if the wrong person finds it.
- As we mentioned in our last post, scammers are constantly looking for ways to take advantage of unsuspecting people. They may try to capitalize on the confusion surrounding the new cards, and try to get access to your medical information. Do not give your new number to anyone who calls you asking for it—even if they claim to be from Medicare or your doctor’s office. Medicare will not call you to ask for this information, and your doctor’s office can bill Medicare using your old number until late 2019.
- Besides for being able to still file claims with the old number for another year, your doctors and other medical professionals can use an online tool from Medicare where they can look up your new number. You may still want to give them your number next time you have an appointment, so they have it easily in their files.
- Didn’t receive your card yet? Don’t panic. Due to the large numbers of seniors in New Jersey, it can take at least a month until you get your card. In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to make sure Social Security has your current address on file, as that is the mailing address they’ll use to send you the new card.
- If your card doesn’t come by September 15, call Medicare at 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) to report your missing card.