Posted on: 2 June 2019
Starting in 2018, the government started to issue new Medicare cards. If you are enrolled in Medicare already, you need to understand how these new Medicare cards are different than the older Medicare Cards.
Old Medicare Cards
On the old Medicare cards, your insurance number, instead of being a random number, was your Social Security number. As one is advised to always carry their insurance card with them, that means you were essentially always carrying your Social Security card on it. It is not advised to carry your Social Security card on your person due to all the value information connected to your SS card; however, for some reason, for years, Medicare seemed to ignore this advice and identify you within their system, and on the card you were required to carry on your person for medical care, with your SS number.
It is easy to see how this is problematic. If your purse or wallet was ever lost or stolen, your Social Security number and identify could easily be stolen as well. It was also easy for people to request your Medicare number, i.e. your Social Security number, for fraudulent reasons.
New Medicare Cards
Starting in 2018, the government started to issue new cards. These new cards removed your Social Security number from your card. Instead, you are now assigned a random Medicare number. This new Medicare number will be your number for the entire time you have Medicare. The new number is a combination of letters and numbers and will serve as your new number for all medical care.
The need for this change was to protect your Social Security number and your privacy. If you still have any old cards lying around, destroy them by shredding them. Don't just leave them lying around, as your old card includes very important identifying information. You need to properly destroy the card.
By the middle of 2019, everyone should have their new medical cards. If you don't have your new card by the middle of 2019, contact your Medicare provider. They will be able to send you out a new card if for some reason you have not gotten your new card.
You still need to protect your new card number. Your new card number is connected to your medical information, and as with any identify card, you should make sure to protect that information.
This new change is a good change to Medicare services. Your new Medicare number will help keep you and your information safer.Share