To help protect our identities, Medicare is switching us from the current system that uses Social Security numbers. Medicare is mailing all Medicare members new cards with the new, unique Medicare numbers.
- As long as your address is up to date, the new card will automatically come to you eventually. Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
- Mailing takes time. Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s. Once it comes, destroy the old one and start using your new one right away.
- If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare—you should still keep and use it whenever you need care. And, if you have a Medicare drug plan, be sure to keep that card as well. Even if you use one of these other cards, you also may be asked to show your new Medicare card, so keep it with you.
- Doctors, other health care providers and facilities know it’s coming and will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care, so carry it with you.
- Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
- If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.
Watch out for scams
Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare Number) by contacting you about your new card. If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang up and call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Learn more about the limited situations in which Medicare can call you.