The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will send out new Medicare cards that do not feature beneficiaries’ Social Security numbers in the coming weeks.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 required the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop a new card that does not have an individual’s Social Security number on it to cut down on the likelihood of identity theft.
The new Medicare cards instead have a randomly assigned 11-digit combination of numbers and upper-case letters and will no longer indicate the beneficiary’s gender.
When they receive their new Medicare card, beneficiaries should safely and securely destroy their old Medicare card and keep their new Medicare number confidential, the RRB said.
The new card and number will not affect Medicare benefits, and CMS has been working with medical providers to ensure a smooth transition, the RRB said..
A single exception involves people enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Medicare Part C. These individuals will continue to use their plan’s identification card for access to Medicare benefits as these cards already have a unique identification number.
The RRB said it will mail the new Medicare cards to about 450,000 beneficiaries in early June. A railroad Medicare beneficiary who has a lost or damaged Medicare card can request a new one by calling the RRB at 877-772-5772 or going to the Benefit Online Services section of the agency’s website at www.rrb.gov.
Beneficiaries also can print out a new card at home by setting up an online account at www.mymedicare.gov. This feature will be available after their new card has been mailed.
For additional information, visit www.cms.gov/newcard.
An example of the new Medicare card can be accessed at this link.