9 Things to Know About Your New Medicare Card

If you use social media to keep up with friends and family, you’ve probably seen those Age Tests—photos of once-everyday items which folks over 45 recognize, but tend to be genuine head-scratchers for younger people.

Take for example:

Turntable adapter insert

How to Make Tv Antennas Work Better with Aluminum Foil

Old High Beam Footswitch in Cars

If we learn anything as we grow older, it’s that the world never stops changing around us. And by April 2019, the familiar red, white, and blue Medicare card that current and new beneficiaries carry in our wallets will join the ranks of things that are changing—for the better.

That’s right: eligible Americans are getting new Medicare cards in 2018 (and early 2019). Out with the old, in with the new—and improved. So, what does that mean for you, and what do you need to know about the new Medicare card?

New Medicare Card Replacements: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are Medicare Cards Changing?

The last generation of Medicare cards used Social Security Numbers (SSNs) as a Medicare Claim Number. This was an insecure form of identification. Over the past few decades, SSNs have slowly become used for many forms of ID, including credit. These new Medicare cards establish a unique Medicare Benefit Identification (MBI) number, completely different than the beneficiary’s SSN. It’s more secure and safer. The new Medicare cards are also paper, rather than plastic, which makes the cards easier for providers to copy and use.

2. What Does the New Medicare Card Look Like?

The new card was completely redesigned to make it unmistakably different from the older card.

Old Medicare Card

New Medicare Card

3. Do I Need to Request a Medicare Card Replacement?

No. It will be mailed to you automatically.

4. How Can I Make Sure My New Medicare Card Goes to the Right Address?

The Social Security Administration handles address changes and updates pertaining to new Medicare cards as well as Social Security. If you want to make sure your address is current, you can do so on the Social Security website.

5. When Will I Receive My New Medicare Card?

The new Medicare card mailing schedule will take all year to complete. Cards are being mailed in waves, several states at a time, by region. Mailings began in May, 2018 and will continue all year long. This web page includes a regularly updated map and list that shows:

  • Which states are currently mailing new cards
  • Which states are mailing new cards soon
  • Which states have finished mailing new cards

6. Can I Get a More Specific Time Frame?

If you know someone in a different state that has already received their card, you can sign up to receive a personalized email notification to get a more specific delivery time frame. The email will be delivered to your email inbox when your new Medicare card is mailed, so you’ll be notified instantly on your computer, your tablet, or even your smartphone. If it doesn’t arrive within a couple of weeks after that, you’ll know to get in touch and request a Medicare card replacement.

7. What Should I Do with My Old Medicare Card?

Once you have verified that all of the information on your new Medicare card is correct, including the spelling of your name and your coverage eligibility, destroy your old Medicare card by shredding it or cutting it into pieces.

Do not keep it around just in case (like old ice cube trays), no matter how tempting that may be. If you ever need to get or order a new Medicare card, you can always request one from the Social Security Administration.

8. Can I Laminate My New Medicare Card?

While the paper card may feel less substantial than the old plastic Medicare card, the Social Security Administration advises against lamination, as it may destroy security features. If you would like additional protection for your new card, the agency suggests a simple clear plastic card holder sleeve, or alternatively, carrying a photocopy of your card rather than the card itself. (All smartphones, including the Jitterbug Smart, run apps that can store secure, password- or biometrically-protected images of cards for this purpose.)

9. What If I Have a Medicare Advantage Plan (HMO, PPO, or PFFS)?

In that case, you will not use the new Medicare card when you go to a hospital or doctor. Store your new card in a secure place and continue using your Medicare Advantage plan card as you always have. If you ever discontinue your Medicare Advantage plan, you will need your new Medicare card when you go to a healthcare provider.

And just in case any of those shareables at the beginning stumped you, here are the answers:

  1. Turntable adapter insert for 45 RPM vinyl records
  2. Before scrambled cable signals and set-top descrambler boxes, aluminum foil could be wrapped around television cable to tune in premium channels like HBO (yes, really!)
  3. High beam headlight controls once lived on the floor of the vehicle, not turn signal stems
  4. It’s a metal ice cube tray with a removable cube divider insert

Sources: me.me, nourishingobscurity.com, knowyourmeme.com

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Tagged with: active aging, aging, caregiver, caregivers, caregiving, elderly, health, independent living, insurance, medicare, policy, resources, seniors, wellness

32 thoughts on “9 Things to Know About Your New Medicare Card

  1. Anonymous
    August 31, 2018 at 11:31 am

    These folks obviously don’t know what hey are talking about. The current cards are plastic and why would you need to know someone in another state to check on your own card?

  2. Melba Ammon
    September 1, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I got my new card in May, but my husband has not received his.
    It says Pennsylvania mailing is done. Where is his card.

  3. Terri Neel
    September 9, 2018 at 1:06 am

    Can you please. E-mail me about when my new card will be in the mail. I will be moving again soon and when I do I Will let y’all know. Thank You! Terri Neel

  4. Marilyn G. Kruse
    September 10, 2018 at 3:50 am

    I know that I have Advantage, but I never received an Advantage card. Is it absolutely imperative that I have a card, and if it is, where do I get one?

  5. Elizabeth Akers
    September 11, 2018 at 1:47 am

    Good infory

  6. Sandra Faye Russell
    September 11, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    I received my new cad yesterday and laminated it. Do I need to get another one?

  7. Dori
    September 12, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Oh, oh, the fraudsters will have to look for new ways to steal your money!

  8. Dixie Russell
    September 13, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    When will I Get Minedixie

  9. Margery Bradley
    September 15, 2018 at 1:30 am

    I also have laminated my new card and my husbands. Do we need to get another?

  10. Nancy
    September 15, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    All info is NOT correct! In Illinois the cards have never been plastic unless someone laminated their own. Hospital providers still need your Medicare id info to bill Medicare for your inpatient stay days for informational info when you are enrolled in a Medicare advantage program

  11. Annon
    September 17, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    They are paperann

  12. Julia S Qualls
    September 18, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    How do I find the map showing when mine will be mailed

    1. September 19, 2018 at 11:09 pm
  13. Marilyn Ira
    September 21, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    My husband received his card but I have not. I cannot access the page telling me if they are finished sending them in my state. What am I supposed to do?

  14. Carol
    September 23, 2018 at 2:08 am

    I laminated my card also. Should I ask for a replacement?

  15. Carol mills
    September 23, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    I have a Medicare advantage thru united health care insurance.doni was she the old card nor the new one?

  16. Donna Carlisle
    September 24, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    This is for Nancy. I’m trying to find my best childhood friend. Her mother was from Chicago. If you are my friend Nancy, which southern city did you live in to go through school grades 1-12?

  17. Velinda Hobbs
    September 26, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I laminated mine! What’s the problem with it???

  18. Anonymous
    September 27, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I have laminate my card. And my husband. If it has to be taken off you can probably cut it off

  19. Betty Marcus
    September 28, 2018 at 12:04 am

    When will mailings be done for Colorado

  20. G
    September 29, 2018 at 11:28 am

    What’s the purpose of the. New card if the old info remains in the healcare providers system. It can still be hacked and my info taken. My doctors office would not remove my ss#’!

  21. Zoila Cartaya
    October 1, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    The new medicare card should have the picture of the recipient.

  22. Karon Noll
    October 2, 2018 at 4:14 am

    Got a flu shot today and my NEW MEDICARE HEALTH card did not work!!!! They put in my OLD card number and it did work!

  23. Sheila DeLaurentis
    October 4, 2018 at 2:40 am

    People, people, people.. this girl who wrote the article cannot answer your questions. If your spouse received their card and you did not, call Medicare (CMS). As a matter of fact, you will need to call CMS for anything to do with your card. If you are paying for a Medicare Advantage plan, get it touch with the Insurance company that you are paying, for info on it, including the where-abouts of your card. The article was not issued by Medicare. It’s just an informational story.

  24. Stephanie LaCerra
    October 4, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Reply does not work

  25. Mary
    October 7, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Some of the comments are strange, to say the least. I had no idea new cards were being mailed. If I received one, I missed it somehow. I thought the article was very informative.

  26. Carolyn A. Swank
    October 7, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    I have laminated my new card also because it’s paper. Why does it say there plastic. Lot of confusion going on here.

  27. Cheryl P. Cason
    October 8, 2018 at 1:32 am

    I have not received mine but my husband got his! What do I do? Thanks……

  28. Anonymous
    October 8, 2018 at 1:57 am

    My card is paper not plastic.

  29. Jolene Gibbs
    October 8, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    When will cards be mailed in Missouri, please?

  30. Diana F Dihon
    October 8, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    How can we can get dental and eyeglasses that all hospital and droctors approve

  31. Dolores Bigner
    October 9, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    For Zoila, my new card does not have my photo on it, nor does my husbands

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