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SHINE: Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone

2013 new SHINE logo 1Massachusetts has finished mailing new Medicare cards

Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that's unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity.

When you have your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away. Your new Medicare Number is a unique combination of numbers and letters. Your new number uses numbers 0 thru 9. The letters S, L, O, I, B, and Z are never used.

What if you didn’t get your new Medicare card?

Your new Medicare card should have arrived in the mail by now. If you didn’t get it, here’s what to do:

  • Remember that your new Medicare card will come in a plain white envelope from the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • If the card didn’t arrive, call 1-800-MEDICARE. Medicare call center representatives can check the status and help you get your new card.

In the meantime, use your current Medicare card to get health care services.

Watch out for scams

Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give out 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 or 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).

The SHINE Program, Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone, provides confidential, and unbiased health insurance counseling for Medicare beneficiaries. This is a free service, though contributions are welcome and will go a long way to help support this vital program. For further assistance with any Medicare issue, you can make a SHINE appointment. To reach a trained and certified counselor in your area, contact the regional office at 1-800-498-4232 or 413-773-5555, or contact your local council on aging.