New Medicare cards! Some people have asked me if they are finally going to get a plastic card from Medicare and I wish it were so. Unfortunately, the answer is no. The new Medicare cards will be paper to make it easier for providers to copy and use. Your old HICN number (Health Insurance Claim Number) is being replaced by the MBI number (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier) which is an 11-character alphanumeric, randomly assigned, number. Here is some answers to other commonly asked questions about the new cards:
Why New Medicare Cards?
This is being done to protect against Medicare fraud and identity theft.
When will I get my new Medicare card?
Mailings of the new Medicare cards started in April 2018 and scheduled to be completed by April of 2019. Georgia existing Medicare members are not likely to get their new cards until the end this summer at the earliest. However, some newly eligible Medicare members, signing up for Medicare for the first time, are receiving the new MBI numbers but some are still being issued with the old HICN numbers. You can check the status of your new card here:https://www.medicare.gov/newcard/
Do I need to do anything to get my new Medicare card?
No. However, it is recommended that you make sure that Medicare has your correct mailing address. You can verify this by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or check on your online account at ssa.gov/myaccount. If you do not have an online account this is a great time to create one!
How long can I continue to use my old card with the HICN number on it?
Both Medicare numbers, the old HICN and the new MBI number will work through December 31, 2019. However, it is recommended that you destroy your old card and begin using your new card with your new MBI number as soon as you receive it.
Do my benefits change?
No! Your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
What if I have a Medicare Advantage plan?
If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare—you should still keep and use it whenever you need care. And, if you have a Medicare drug plan, be sure to keep that card as well. Even if you use one of these other cards, you also may be asked to show your new Medicare card, so keep it with you.
How can I avoid scams involving the new Medicare card?
Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare Number) by contacting you about your new card. If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
If you have additional questions about your new card or need Medicare enrollment help, you can contact us at Georgia Health Insurance.