New Medicare cards can help prevent fraud and identity left

New Medicare cards can help prevent fraud and identity left

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently gave the public its first look at the newly designed Medicare card. The new Medicare card contains a unique, randomly-assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number.

CMS will begin mailing the new cards to people with Medicare benefits in April 2018 to meet the statutory deadline for replacing all existing Medicare cards by April 2019. In addition to the announcement, people with Medicare will also be able to see the design of the new Medicare card in the 2018 Medicare & You Handbook.

“The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We’re very excited to share the new design.”

CMS has assigned all people with Medicare benefits a new, unique Medicare number, which contains a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. People with Medicare will receive a new Medicare card in the mail, and will be instructed to safely and securely destroy their current Medicare card and keep their new Medicare number confidential. Issuance of the new number will not change benefits that people with Medicare receive.

Healthcare providers and people with Medicare will be able to use secure look-up tools that will allow quick access to the new Medicare numbers when needed. There will also be a 21-month transition period where doctors, healthcare providers, and suppliers will be able to use either their current SSN-based Medicare Number or their new, unique Medicare number, to ease the transition.

This initiative takes important steps towards protecting the identities of people with Medicare. CMS is also working with healthcare providers to answer their questions and ensure that they have the information they need to make a successful transition to the new Medicare number. For more information, go to

The Coös County ServiceLink Resource Center is located at 610 Sullivan St. in Berlin and open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information or to schedule an appointment at the Berlin office, call (603) 752-6407.

Coös County Aging & Disability Resource Counseling at ServiceLink served more than 4,766 contacts with detailed information about benefits, programs, and resources with over $138,288 in saving to clients in Coös County. That included 675 Medicare and 614 Medicaid contacts, where our highly skilled staff is able to help people navigate their way through the confusing decisions about benefits and eligibility, in order to make the best decisions possible for themselves.