New Medicare ID cards being mailed to Idaho residents

New Medicare ID cards being mailed to Idaho residents
Copyright 2019 KXLY.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior permission.

The newer, safer version of the Medicare identification card is on its way to Idahoans who utilize the federal health plan.

Unveiled last Spring, the new ID card is designed to help prevent fraud and identity theft. Updated cards are now being mailed automatically at no cost to Idaho residents and should arrive within the next few weeks. However, health care providers will continue to honor the old card through December 31, 2019.

Old Medicare cards that once relied on a member’s Social Security number are being replaced with a new, 11-character identifier using digits and letters uniquely designed for the Medicare beneficiary. Officials warn Medicare recipients to be aware of suspicious or fraudulent callers requesting payments or soliciting private information in order for the card to be sent.

Medicare beneficiaries with questions about the new card or other Medicare issues can contact the Senior Health Insurance benefits Advisors (SHIBA) with the Idaho Department of Insurance. SHIBA counselors are available statewide and can be reached by calling 800-247-4422.

Idaho is part of the sixth wave of the federal card distribution process. Once a new card arrives, old cards should be shredded. Government officials say all 60 million Medicare enrollees nationwide should have a new card by April of 2019.