The new Medicare cards have been announced by CMS but what does that mean for you?
Between April of 2018 and April of 2019, CMS will be issuing new Medicare ID cards. The reason is quite simple. The current ID cards use your social security number with an alpha code on the end to identify you. There has been and continues to be identity theft especially among the senior population. Once an identity thief has your social security number, they can steal your identity and more. This has been a particular problem for seniors some of which aren’t capable of getting the situation resolved. This should not be as it is an affront to all seniors.
CMS will be issuing these new ID cards starting this April and continuing until April of 2019. As I understand it, the changeover begins on the East Coast and ends next April on the West Coast. So those of us in Nevada will have to wait until March or April of 2019 until we get our new ID cards.
Rest assured that these new ID cards are being sent to your current insurance carrier so the transition will be minimal for all Medicare recipients. Even though I am not scheduled to receive my new ID card until next year, my supplemental insurance carrier has already notified me that the transition will not affect my coverage and there will be no issues.
These new ID cards are called Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI. They will be an 11 digit number using both upper and lower case letters and numbers. This number will be randomly generated by the computer and will have no identifying or hidden meaning. It will be totally safe and have no reference to anything about you.
Finally, the government is getting smart. This should have been done years ago and it would have eliminated any identity theft for seniors. I suppose it’s better late than not at all? Glad this is finally happening.
The Barend Agency Inc.
Len Barend, broker