Health

New Medicare cards to arrive soon

Officials mailing new cards this week

Iowa Medicare members should expect to receive their new Medicare cards in the near future.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Monday it was mailing new Medicare cards this week to enrollees in Iowa and 10 other states.

Individuals with Medicare and their caregivers can sign up for email notifications when their new member card is in the mail by visiting medicare.gov/newcard.

Officials announced the new cards earlier this year as a safety measure against identity theft and as a better safeguard for health and financial information. The new cards no longer will have the beneficiary’s Social Security number but instead will have a number that is randomly assigned to each member, according to a CMS news release.

Benefits and coverage will not change for those enrolled in Medicare.

Once individuals receive their new Medicare identification cards, they are encouraged to destroy their old card — preferably by shredding or cutting it into small pieces — and to keep their new Medicare card number confidential.

Recipients should share their new Medicare number only with their doctor, pharmacist, insurer or people they trust to work with Medicare on their behalf.

Officials are warning members that individuals may seek to obtain their new Medicare number by way of a phone scam.

Officials noted Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask for your personal information, for money or threaten to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your private information.

If you receive one of these calls, contact Medicare officials at (800) 633-4227.

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For more information, visit go.Medicare.gov/newcard. Medicare members also can contact the Iowa Insurance Division’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program at (800) 351-4664 or by emailing shiip@iid.iowa.gov.

l Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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