In an effort to prevent fraud, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has redesigned Medicare cards. The cards are still red, white and blue but they will no longer contain a Social Security number, gender, signature and other personal information, all of which could compromise the Medicare beneficiary’s identity.
The new cards have an 11 character, randomly assigned number that is not in any way connected to the beneficiary’s other personal data. All current beneficiaries are scheduled to get their new cards no later than December, 2019. In our area, Pennsylvania residents are scheduled to receive their cards between April and June, 2018. New Jersey and New York residents will receive their new cards beginning after June, 2018.
Before the mailings start, beneficiaries should insure that the Social Security Administration has their correct address. Any address changes should be made by contacting the Social Security Administration at ssa.gov/myaccount or by calling 800-772-1213.
Medicare beneficiaries should also be aware of scammers who are trying to take advantage of unsuspecting beneficiaries by contacting them directly about their replacement cards. CMS employees never call and ask for personal or private information about Medicare recipients. There also is no fee or charge for the new card. If you experience differently, these are quick tipoffs that you are dealing with a scammer.