We know that dealing with any changes or paperwork in your Medicare enrollment and benefits can be difficult. So we are here to help clarify what you need to do with the newly-upgraded Medicare cards.
Posted by Medicare World on Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Medicare currently uses a Social Security based ID number to identify people with Medicare and administer the program. On April 1, 2018 Medicare will begin the process of discontinuing Social Security numbers for identification and will begin sending new Medicare cards to Medicare recipients with new ID numbers.
Your new Medicare ID number will replace the Social Security number that is currently on all Medicare ID cards. Your new Medicare number will be specific to you and should be protected as personally identifiable information but must be provided to your medical doctors so your medical claims can be billed. The ID number on your new Medicare card will be different than your current ID number, randomly generated, and have uppercase letters that are “non-intelligent,” which means they don’t have any hidden or special meaning.
Moving to new Medicare numbers and issuing new Medicare cards requires a lot of change to the current system and it is a change that will be nationwide and gradual beginning no earlier than April 1, 2018 and running through December 31, 2019. This means your new Medicare card can arrive anytime within this time frame. Release of the new ID cards will be timed and controlled by Medicare. Your old Medicare cards should not be discarded but can be filed safely away.
Your new Medicare card will not change your Medicare benefits and patients with Medicare should start giving the new Medicare cards to their health care providers as soon as they arrive. It is important to know the transition period for Medicare providers also begins on April 1, 2018 and will run through December 31, 2019. This means Medicare providers have until January 1, 2020 to begin exclusively billing with the new Medicare ID numbers. Some Medicare providers will begin using the new ID numbers as soon as April 1, 2018, others will be closer to the December 31, 2019 deadline. This decision is made on a case by case basis and is perfectly acceptable under the terms of the Medicare program. A provider may require you provide your “old” Medicare card in order to submit your claim, as long services were provided prior to the December 31, 2019 deadline this is also acceptable.
If you have questions, please contact Veronica, our Billing Supervisor.