(Salem) – Oregonians with Medicare coverage will be issued a new card from the federal government by the end of June. Each person’s new card will have a unique Medicare number, instead of a Social Security number, to prevent fraud and identity theft. Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will automatically mail the new cards, at no cost, to each beneficiary’s address on file with Social Security.
Here’s what Oregonians on Medicare can expect, and what they should know:
• Make sure Social Security has your current address. You can update your address online by signing in to or creating a “my Social Security” account at ssa.gov.
• Don’t worry if you get your new card before or after friends or family members here in Oregon or in other states. The cards are being sent on a variety of dates to prevent mail theft.
• When your new Medicare card arrives, destroy the old one. Do it in a secure manner, such as shredding it.
• Doctors, other health care providers, and plans approved by Medicare know that Medicare is replacing the old cards. They should be ready to accept your new card when you need care.
• Even people with a Medicare plan through a private insurance company, also known as a Medicare Advantage plan, will get a new Medicare card from the federal government. Keep it in a safe place, but continue to use the member card your insurance company sent you.
• Beware of people contacting you about your new Medicare card and asking you for your Medicare number, personal information, or to pay a fee for your new card. Protect your Medicare number like you treat your Social Security or credit card numbers. Remember, Medicare will never contact you uninvited to ask for your personal information.
More information is available at go.medicare.gov/newcard. Oregonians also can contact the state’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program with questions. SHIBA’s phone number is 1-800-722-4134 (toll-free), and the line is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Oregon SHIBA is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.