In an effort to prevent fraud and identity theft, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail new Medicare cards nationwide between April 2018 and April 2019. Medicare started mailing the new cards in September 2018 to beneficiaries in Washington state. Your new card will have a new Medicare number that's unique to you - instead of your Social Security Number.
What you need to know about your new Medicare card
- You don't need to take any action to get your new Medicare card.
- Medicare will send your new card to you via U.S. mail.
- Make sure your mailing address on file with Medicare is correct, or go online to the Social Security Administration (www.ssa.gov) to update it.
- The new card won't change your Medicare coverage or benefits.
- Medicare will never ask you to provide personal or private information to get your new Medicare number and card.
- There's no charge for your new card.
- You can start using the new card as soon as you receive it.
- After you receive your new card, be sure to shred your old card.
Beware of Medicare scams
Scam artists may try to get your current Medicare number and other personal information by contacting you about your new Medicare card. They often claim to be from Medicare and use various scams to get your Medicare number. They may:
- Ask you to confirm your Medicare or Social Security Number so they can send you a new card.
- Tell you there's a charge for your new card and they need to verify your personal information.
- Threaten to cancel your health benefits if you don't share your Medicare number or other personal information.
If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information, hang up and call the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program at 800-562-6900 to report the incident. SHIBA is Washington state's Senior Medicare Patrol. We help consumers prevent, detect and report Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse.