Medicare will mail new Medicare cards to all Medicare beneficiaries between April 2018 and April 2019. Your new card will have a new number that’s unique to you using a combination of eleven letters and numbers, replacing your Social Security number. The new card will not change your coverage or benefits.
This change in ID numbers is required by a law enacted two years ago and will help to reduce identity theft. You do not need to take any action to get your new Medicare card. Until you receive a new card in the mail, you should take steps to protect your current card. Do not carry your Medicare card unless you are on your way to a health care appointment. Instead, make a copy and black out all but the last four digits.
Be wary that scammers may devise ways to take advantage of you during the transition to the new cards. Do not be fooled if someone calls or visits you demanding you allow them to switch out your card. Medicare will not send someone to your home or phone you asking for personal information such as your Medicare number. Other points to remember:
• Medicare does not email or visit homes unannounced to “update’ or “verify” data that it already has.
• Medicare will never threaten you with a loss of your benefits for not making an immediate change.
• If you receive a phone call about this, ignore that your caller-id may show that the call is from Medicare or CMS. This is likely a phony caller-id that helps the scammers look more believable.
• When in doubt, contact the Medicare helpline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-633-4227.
If you would like to learn more about Medicare, please join me for my class, Getting Started with Medicare. You will find a list of upcoming classes at www.mutskoinsurance.com/seminars. For all other questions on insurance, including life, health, dental, vision and Medicare Advantage plans, contact me at 440-255-5700. I look forward to helping you.
The Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) is a survey of people who currently have Medicare. It is used to provide feedback to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on how people get their health care, the rising cost of health care, and how satisfied people are with their care. The information is used to help CMS better understand the needs of Americans on Medicare.
You may be selected to be a part of the sample group of 16,000 individuals who are asked to participate in this survey each year. Letters from Medicare go out to potential participants in late summer explaining that someone from NORC at the University of Chicago will be in touch to set up an interview.
A professional interviewer will contact you in person or by phone to setup a visit. If you agree to participate in the study, the interview will take about one hour. Your participation in the survey is strictly voluntary.
Those selected to participate represent thousands of other people similar to them. If you are selected, literally no one else can take your place in the study. All of your information will be strictly confidential as prescribed by The Federal Privacy Act of 1974. Your participation is voluntary and your Medicare benefits cannot be affected in any way by the answers that you provide, or by whether or not you choose to participate.
If you are invited to participate and would like to verify your selection in this study, please contact NORC toll free at 1-877-389-3429. You can also visit the respondent website at www.mcbs.norc.org for more detailed information.
The Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey is important to the future of Medicare. Please consider helping in this national effort to improve your Medicare program.
Medicare offers prescription drug coverage to everyone with Medicare. If you decide not to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan when you’re first eligible, and you don’t have other creditable prescription drug coverage, or you don’t get extra help, you’ll likely pay a late enrollment penalty.
To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a plan run by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare. Each plan can vary in cost and drugs covered.
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage is included in many Medicare Advantage Plans.
To learn more about Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, please contact me. I will help you find the plan that offers the best coverage for your prescription needs and budget.
What’s Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance?
Medicare Supplement Insurance, often referred to as Medigap Insurance, helps to pay some of your health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover including copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. All policies offer the same basic benefits but some offer additional benefits, so you can choose the one that best meets your needs.
A Medigap policy is different from a Medicare Advantage Plan.
To learn more about Medicare Supplement Insurance, please contact me. My goal is to provide you with a plan that offers the best coverage to meet your health care needs and budget.
A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO’s), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO’s), Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage.
To learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans, call me to schedule a personal appointment or attend one of my “Getting Started with Medicare Seminars” in your area. For a list of upcoming seminars, click here.
My goal is to provide you with the Medicare Advantage Plan that offers the best coverage to meet your health care needs and budget.