Age Spots

Jackie Dover

New Medicare cards are coming and they will have a new Medicare ID number, no longer will your Social Security Number be on the cards.

Starting in April of 2018 the new cards will be mailed out to people with Medicare. The new Medicare cards will feature a new number that is unique to each individual; this number should be safeguarded as you do your current number. The cards with new numbers are a way to help stop fraud and identity theft by protecting your Social Security number.

Important things to know about the new Medicare cards:

• Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security. The new cards will be mailed to the address Social Security has on file for you.

• Beware of anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare card. Medicare will never ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare number and card.

• The new card does not cost you anything. No one will be calling asking for banking or credit information.

• Understand that mailing everyone a new card will take some time. Your card might arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s. Mailings will take place between April 2018 and April 2019.

• The new Medicare numbers won’t change Medicare benefits. People with Medicare may start using their new Medicare cards as soon as they get them

• Protect your identity by properly disposing of your old Medicare cards.

You may not have a choice in the new Medicare cards. You do however have a choice when it comes to your Medicare Part D plans. We are coming up on Medicare Part D Open Enrollment. October 15 through December 7 is the time to evaluate your Medicare prescription drug plans for 2018. This is your chance to compare plans to see what plan covers your medicine at the best cost to you. It allows someone with Medicare to see what your out of pocket costs will be for the coming year and make changes if needed.

Starting in September people with Medicare drug plans should receive an Annual Notice of Change that will show the changes to their current plan for the following year. Please look this over Since Med D plans can change the premium, deductible, tier level of medicine and co-pay amounts every year. They can even change what medicines they cover.

I know change is hard for many, but the changes to the Medicare card will be a change that keeps you safer and changing your Part D plan could save you money. These changes are definitely worth the effort.

If you have questions or need assistance in reviewing your drug plan for 2018, please call Aging Matters at 1-800-392-8771, we are always happy to help.

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