McFarland Clinic

What You Need to Know About the New Medicare Cards

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April 4, 2018

Medicare is mailing new cards to all people with Medicare beginning in April 2018. Here is what you need to know about the new cards.

new medicare card sampleWhy am I getting a new Medicare card?

The new card will remove your Social Security Number, instead including a new Medicare Number which will be unique to you. This is meant to help defend you against identity theft, which affects a large and growing number of seniors.

When will my new card be mailed?

Medicare will begin mailing new cards nationwide in April 2018. People in Iowa with Medicare are expected to start receiving new cards in the mail in June 2018, but not everyone will get their cards at the same time. The process of mailing all cards is expected to continue through April 2019.

Medicare has set up a web page at where you can see the progress of new card mailings. You can even sign up to get an e-mail when your new card is in the mail.

What should I do with my old card?

Once you get your new card, you should destroy your old card and start using your new card right away. This helps you protect yourself by making sure no one can get your personal information from your old card. Also be sure to guard your new card and only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, your insurers or other people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.

What about my Medicare Advantage card?

If you are in a Medicare Advantage plan (like an HMO or PPO), you should still keep and use your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card whenever you need care. You may also be asked to show your new Medicare card, so you should carry this with you too.

What if I don't get my new card?

The process of mailing cards will take time, and you may not get your new card at the same time as your friends and neighbors. All people with Medicare will be mailed new cards by April 2019. You can make sure your mailing address is up to date by contacting Social Security at or 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.

If you don't get your new Medicare card by April 2019, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

What if I want to know more?

For more information about the new Medicare card, click here to read this list of 10 Things to Know About Your New Medicare Card from Medicare's website. You can also click here to watch this short video about the new Medicare cards.

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