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SHINE: Serving Heath Insurance Needs of Everyone

Ten things to know about your new Medicare card

Medicare is mailing new Medicare cards starting in April 2018. Medicare has a mailing strategy in place, and Massachusetts beneficiaries will be receiving their new cards after June of 2018. Here are ten things to know about your new Medicare card:

  1. Mailing takes time: Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
  2. Destroy your old Medicare card: Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away.
  3. Guard your card: Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other healthcare providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
  4. Your Medicare Number is unique: Your card has a new number instead of your Social Security Number. This new number is unique to you.
  5. Your new card is paper: Paper cards are easier for many providers to use and copy, and they save taxpayers a lot of money. Plus, you can print your own replacement card if you need one!
  6. Keep your new card with you: Carry your new card and show it to your health care providers when you need care.
  7. Your doctor knows it’s coming: Doctors, other health care facilities and providers will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care.
  8. You can find your number: If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.
  9. Keep your Medicare Advantage Card: 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. However, you also may be asked to show your new Med-icare card, so you should carry this card too.
  10. Help is available: If you don’t get your new Medicare card by April 2019, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

This article was based on information released from Medicare in January of 2018.

Trained SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone…on Medicare) volunteers can help you! The SHINE program provides free, confidential and unbiased health insurance counseling for Medicare beneficiaries. To reach a trained and certified counselor in your area, contact the Region-al Office at 1-800-498-4232 or 413-773-5555 or contact your local Council on Aging.