Iowa Medicare members will be receiving new cards over the next year that will help protect them from identity theft.
Medicare is mailing new cards between April this year and April next year, according to a news release from the Iowa Insurance Division.
The new cards will not have a member’s Social Security number on it but a new number unique to each member — a move officials hope will help protect Medicare members from identity theft.
Medicare benefits and coverage will not change, the news release stated.
“This is a welcome and important change that will affect many Iowans,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said in the news release. “We hear often about this issue.”
Officials said the new cards will take a year to mail out, so some people will receive their cards before others.
Doctors and other health care providers have been notified Medicare is sending out new cards, so members are asked to carry the new card with them when they need care.
The Insurance Division urged Medicare recipients to be wary of scams. They said recipients should only give their new Medicare number to their doctor, pharmacist, insurer or people they trust to work with Medicare on their behalf.
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Phone scams may call and try to get your new Medicare number. Officials say Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask for your personal information, for money or threaten to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your private information.
If you receive one of these calls, contact Medicare officials at (800) 633-4227.
Officials also are requesting Iowa Medicare recipients check that their correct address is on file with the U.S. Social Security Administration so they can receive a new card. To check or update your address, visit ssa.gov/myaccount or call (800) 772-1213.
If you are a railroad retiree, contact the Railroad Retirement Board at (877) 772-5772.
For more information, visit go.Medicare.gov/newcard or call the Iowa Insurance Division’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program at (800) 351-4664.
Deaf or hard of hearing users can call at (800) 735-2942.
l Comments: (319) 368-8536; [email protected]