1 min read
13 Jul

Some of y’all may remember when Medicare cards use to have your actual social security number or the social security number of a spouse with one letter that designated specifics of your coverage. Plain and clear right on your red white and blue card for all the world to see. Between April 2018 and April 2019 CMS introduced a brand new rollout of replacement cards with new Medicare numbers. 

Here are 3 things you need to know about the new Medicare Cards. 

1. Just because it’s not your social security number any more does not mean it should be public information freely shared with just anyone. This unique identifier is linked to you and could result in fraud, unauthorized enrollments or disenrolments and identity theft. While it is somewhat safer that a social security number out there, it is still YOUR number, protect it and keep it private by sharing it only when absolutely necessary and in controlled environments. 

2. They could have just avoided this little obstacle, but without inclusion who knows how many millions of number combinations we would lack. Some new Medicare numbers that now include letters contains O. Thankfully they make this distinction clear and absolute as long as you can remember it. This new card will never contain the letter O it is always the number 0 as in Zero. I remember Zero is hero so I don’t get it mixed up. 

3. Owning this card does not guarantee that Medicare will pay any of your claims. If you have a Medicare advantage plan, private health insurance contracted with the government to manage your care instead of Original Medicare, not in addition to it, meaning Medicare no longer pays any of your claims. Even with the new card, even if it got automatically mailed to you, enrolling in a Medicare advantage plan also called part C means that no matter how you flash that red white and blue card, Medicare no longer pays any of your claims. 

I love that Medicare evolves and changes to protect beneficiaries with extra measure like new ID numbers. I especially love the contractual guarantees that are available with Medicare coverage that are not able to change. 

The new system to protect your social security number is excellent, but remember: 1. It should still be kept private, 2. Zero is Hero and 3. Even with the new cards, your claims are not guaranteed unless you have original Medicare.

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