Medicare announced its new ID card plan last year. And now, the time has come: new Medicare ID cards, which have corresponding ID numbers to replace the original Social Security Number identification system, have begun arriving in the mailboxes of New Jersey’s Medicare beneficiaries.
What changes come with your new card? It’s still on paper, but it looks slightly different. In order to prevent Medicare fraud and identity theft, your SSN has been swapped for a unique identification number that distinguishes your Medicare plan.
While Medicare’s identification process may have changed, your insurance has not—your coverage remains the same.
The new cards are sent automatically to the address that Social Security has on file for you. If you have moved in the past year, you might want to update your address! You can do that by visiting your My Social Security account, or following the quick and easy steps to sign up on the website if you don’t already have a My Social Security account.
If you haven’t received your new card yet, don’t panic! The mailing process takes an estimated one month–some of your friends and family might get theirs in the mail before you do. To monitor exactly when you will receive your card, log into your MyMedicare.gov account. If you don’t have an account, the process of creating one is quick and easy. You can log in or sign up here.
Getting your new card in the mail is exciting, but hold on to that old copy. You should begin using your new one immediately upon receival and keep your old one in a safe place (like a safe) and don’t discard until April 2019. After that date you can safely dispose of your old card by destroying it via shredder, or cutting it to pieces with scissors.
Be on the lookout for your new Medicare card! If your card gets lost in the mail, or if you happen to lose it, you can call Social Security (1-800-772-1213) for instructions on how to get another copy.
For more information on the new Medicare ID, check out our blog post from earlier this year.