Arkansans are starting to receive new Medicare cards in the mail – this is not a scam. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have announced they are issuing new, paper cards to all Medicare recipients. The new card-issuance process is expected to continue through December 2019.
“CMS is taking important steps to update their system and prevent identity theft,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a news release. “The new cards will assign a new Medicare number to each individual, and that number will need to be given to doctors and health care providers. Arkansans should look for these cards in the mail, as they are currently being delivered.”
Rutledge and the Social Security Administration released the below tips about new Medicare cards:
• New cards will automatically come in the mail. To update an address call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or sign up for a ‘my Social Security’ account (ssa.gov/my account/).
• The new card will have a new Medicare number that is unique to each individual, instead of Social Security Numbers.
• Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
• Mailing takes time, and cards can arrive any time before December 2019.
• The card is now paper, which is easier for many providers to use and copy.
• When the new Medicare card arrives, destroy the old one and begin using the new card right away.
• For Medicare Advantage Plans (like a HMO or PPO) participants, the Medicare Advantage Plan ID is the main card for Medicare. Continue to keep and use it for care, however, medical providers may ask to see the new Medicare card as well.
• Doctors, other health care providers and facilities know the new cards are coming and will ask for it at appointments.
• Only give the new Medicare number to doctors, pharmacists, health care providers, insurers or individuals helping to manage Medicare coverage.
• Doctors or other health care providers may be able to look up Medicare numbers online.
For more information and tips on how to avoid a scam, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at 800- 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.