CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES VIA AP
En español | More than 61 million enrollees have received new Medicare cards that have replaced Social Security numbers with a combination of letters and numbers that federal officials say will help protect against identity theft and fraud.
Congress mandated that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mail new identification cards to all Medicare beneficiaries by April 2019. According to CMS, more than half of all the health care claims CMS currently is processing contain the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), an 11-character, randomly assigned number that has no connection to an enrollee’s personal information.
CMS has these tips for beneficiaries who did not receive their new card or need a replacement card:
- Call 800-MEDICARE (633-4227). Operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The representative can order you a new card.
- Go to mymedicare.gov and log on to your account. It should show you your new Medicare number, even if you didn’t get your card in the mail.
- Ask your health care provider to look up your Medicare number.
Medicare also suggests that beneficiaries destroy their old card as soon as they get their new one and start using the new card. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan (an HMO or PPO) or a prescription drug plan through Medicare Part D, you’ll still need to use those cards to get medical care or medicines.
CMS officials suggest beneficiaries protect their new Medicare card as they would any credit card. They say to give the new Medicare number only to doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers or insurers — or caregivers and others you trust to communicate with Medicare on your behalf. CMS stresses that Medicare will never call to ask for a beneficiary’s Medicare number or other personal information.