The United States government has started creating new Medicare cards to all Medicare recipients. To help prevent identity theft, these new cards do not have contain your Social Security number.
Each person will be assigned a unique identification number, called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). Each MBI will consist of a combination of 11 randomly generated numbers and upper case letters. The MBI should be kept private, just like you keep your Social Security number private.
These cards will start going out in the mail in phases beginning this month based on your location and it will take a year for all of the cards to be distributed. If your mailing address is not up to date, call 800-772-1213, visit www.ssa.gov, or go to a local Social Security office to update it as soon as possible.
The change to the new cards is attracting scammers who are using this as a new opportunity to scam Medicare beneficiaries for money. According to Kaiser Health News, the scams to look out for include phone calls with callers:
There is no cost for the new cards. It is important to know that Medicare will never call, email or visit you unless you ask them to, nor will they ask you for money or for your Medicare number. If you receive any calls that seem suspicious, don't give out any personal information and hang up. You should call 1-800-MEDICARE to report the activity.