Alabama residents started receiving new “safer” Medicare Cards in June of this year (2018), and of course with the change scammers saw what they always look for – an opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting members of the public.
What makes these new cards more secure, is the fact they do not include the person’s social security number; instead each identification number is made up of a unique combination of eleven randomly assigned numbers and letters, called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier – or an MBI.
Of course, this does provide an extra level of security and safety but we’re receiving reports of scammers claiming to be calling from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services; the caller tells the person on the line they need the number on their new Medicare Card, so that they can “activate” it. This is a complete and total LIE. You don’t have to do anything. Your card is ready to use. It was ready to use the day you received it. Your card does not have to be “activated” by anyone.
DO NOT give out your number to anyone calling you with this ridiculous story.
Alabama residents are due to start receiving their new Medicare cards, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the near future – with that current distribution schedule showing that Alabamians are slated to begin receiving new cards after June.
The exact date of mailing has not yet been announced, but the center said it can take up to a month after distribution begins for cards to actually be delivered. That new paper card will have a number that is unique to each recipient replacing those Social Security numbers that were on old cards. All coverage and benefits stay the same.
You can go here to input information to receive an email when your card is mailed.
Those new Medicare numbers will be made up of a unique combination of eleven randomly assigned numbers and letters called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI. The new numbers use digits 0 to 9; the letters S, L, O, I, B and Z are never used. The card changes are an effort to prevent identity theft associated with the old cards.
You don’t need to do anything to receive your new card, it’ll automatically come to you, and there is no cost associated with the new card. Once you receive your new card, as long as your address is up to date, you don’t need to contact Medicare. If you need to update your address, you can do so here.
After you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old card and start using your new one right away.
If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (such as 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, and if you have a Medicare drug plan, keep that card as well. Even if you use one of these other cards you also may be asked to show your new Medicare card so keep it with you.
Once you receive your new card, use it at the doctor’s office or with other providers.
(Graphic and some information provided by TV12 https://www.wboy.com)