There are only six months to go on the transition to the New Medicare Card. To help prevent identity theft, the New Card removes a patient’s Social Security Number from their Card and replaces it with a new, randomly-assigned “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” or MBI. MBIs must be protected as confidential PII. All patients should have received their new card by now, barring mailing address problems. After December 31, 2019 billing with the old “Health Insurance Claim Number” or HICN will be disallowed. If your facility has patients that don’t have a New Card, refer to https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/SE18006.pdf for instructions. Railroad Retirement Board Medicare cards are going through a parallel transition.
The Medical Education Institute has written a blog post on Social Security Policies Related to Medicare: A Primer. It’s really complicated, so it may be more appropriate for a Social Worker than a patient, but if the Primer is this complex, the Reality must be especially daunting – which makes a Primer all the more valuable. Find the Primer at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/307-social-security-policies-related-to-medicare-a-primer.
Home Dialysis Central has prepared a summary of insurance options called Health Insurance 101: Options for People with ESRD. Find it at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/300-2019-health-insurance-101-options-for-people-with-esrd. CDC reports that almost 10% of advanced CKD patients lack health insurance; see https://nccd.cdc.gov/CKD/AreYouAware.aspx?emailDate=March_2019.
My Employment Options will present a March 21, 2019 Resume Tips Workshop webinar. Topics include Formatting Tips For Resumes, How To Create Work At Home Resumes, How to Create Onsite Job Resumes, Gaps in Employment, and Career Changes. Register at https://www.myemploymentoptions.com/webinar-registration-form/. My Employment Options also offers free job placement services for recipients of SSDI and SSI, including work at home. See https://www.myemploymentoptions.com/apply-now/ for details.
When you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old red-white-and-blue Medicare card, but do not destroy your Social Security card, Medicare Advantage plan card, or drug plan cards. If you belong to a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare drug plan (Part D), continue to use these cards when you get health care services or fill a prescription. Dispose of your old Medicare card carefully, as it contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that can be used for identity theft. Your dialysis facility will probably have a shredder if you don’t. New Medicare Cards, and your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier on it, are also confidential PII that should be closely guarded.
New Medicare cards have been mailed to all Network 16 and 18 patients. If you haven’t received yours, call 1-800-MEDICARE. Call center representatives can check the status and help you get your new card. Meanwhile, use your current Medicare card to get health care services. While your old card will be good through the end of 2019, you want to get and use your new card as soon as you can.
This year’s Medicare Open Enrollment period spans October 15 through December 7, 2018. CMS offers some helpful tools:
- Selecting a type of coverage – https://www.medicare.gov/medicarecoverageoptions/.
- Reviewing your current health plan’s Annual Notice of Change that you should get in the mail – https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-resources/mail-you-get-about-medicare/plan-annual-notice-of-change-anoc.
- Find a health plan that fits – https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx.
- Estimate your costs – https://www.medicare.gov/oopc/.
CMS will hold a September 20, 2018 Open Door Forum webinar on the Medicare tools that will assist beneficiaries during the upcoming Medicare Open Enrollment period. For details and registration see https://www.eventbrite.com/e/national-medicare-education-program-nmep-webinar-registration-48651184001.