Medicare finishes mailing new cards

Medicare finishes mailing new cards

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it has finished mailing new Medicare cards that are part of an effort to help cardholders protect their personal information.

Unlike older cards, the new cards don’t include the Social Security numbers of people with Medicare. Besides protecting cardholders’ personal identity, the new cards will help reduce fraud and abuse, according to CMS officials.

Over the past nine months, new cards were sent to more than 61 million people with Medicare.
Each card has a unique, randomly assigned Medicare number—a combination of letters and numbers called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier.

Replacing old cards was required as part of congressional legislation passed under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.

CMS began mailed cards last April and finished in January, three months ahead of schedule, said Seema Vernan, the CMS administrator.

Anyone who hasn’t received a new card can call 1-800-MEDICARE for assistance, log into their account to get their new Medicare number or print a card. In addition, some healthcare providers may be able to look up a beneficiary’s Medicare number through a secure portal during healthcare visits.