The CMS New Medicare Card (NMC) web page at https://www.medicare.gov/newcard/ keeps an ongoing tally of NMC mailings. It shows that mailings are now underway for California, Oregon, and Alaska, but have not yet started for other Network 16 states. The page also includes a sample of the new card, important information about what a patient should do when they receive one in the mail, and important tips on avoiding Medicare scams.
CMS has begun mailing New Medicare Cards to California, Oregon, and Alaska, and to all new Medicare patients, and all new Railroad Retirement Board cards are due to be mailed today, June 1, 2018. The new MBIs can be used as soon as they are received. HICNs can be used until December 31, 2019, but everyone is encouraged to use MBIs as soon as they are available.
Patients may not have shredders at home, so to reduce identity theft, facilities are encouraged to help patients dispose of their old Medicare cards carefully as PII or Personally Identifiable Information. New Medicare Cards and MBIs are also confidential PII.
CMS has published information about helping patients avoid fraud and scams, which may be particularly important with the release of the New Medicare Cards.
Medicare will never call beneficiaries uninvited and ask for personal or private information to get their new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like their current Medicare Number) by contacting them about their new card. If your Medicare patient is asked for their information, for money, or someone threatens to cancel their health benefits if they don’t share their personal information, have them call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
CMS has announced the appointment of a Provider Ombudsman for the New Medicare Card, to serve as a resource for the provider community. The Ombudsman will ensure that CMS hears and understands any implementation problems experienced by clinicians, hospitals, suppliers, and other providers, will communicate about the New Medicare Card to providers, and help to develop solutions to any implementation problems that arise. To reach the Provider Ombudsman, contact: NMCProviderQuestions@cms.hhs.gov .