New Medicare ID Cards

From April 2018 through April 2019, Medicare will be sending out new ID cards.  The new Medicare cards will still bear the familiar red, white, and blue colors and they will still be paper instead of the anticipated plastic.

So, what’s different? 

The new Medicare cards will have a slightly different design (see example below, from and will no longer exhibit a social security number as your id number.  Instead, the id numbers will be known as the Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBI, for short).  This is a move to better protect your personal information from fraud and to thwart identity theft.

Example of current/old Medicare ID Cards:

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Example of New Medicare ID Cards:

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So, how do I get my new card?

Your new Medicare ID card will come in the mail automatically.  You do not have to do anything except patiently wait for it to come.  The cards will be mailed to the address on file at social security, so be sure they have your correct address and keep it updated if you move.

When should I expect my card in the mail?

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (, the cards will be mailed out systematically by geographical location and other factors.  The chart below is from a link on this web page and is listed here as a convenience.

As you can see, Mississippi and Tennessee are among the last states to receive the new cards.  This may prove to be a blessing since it will give the rest of the country time to “work out the kinks” before the transition hits our area.  Their experience for handling the transition will hopefully give our area more feedback & tips for making the process smoother for providers.

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Another thing to remember is that not everyone in our area will receive their cards at the same time.  You may get yours before your friend or neighbor.  Or you may not get yours until several weeks after your friend or neighbor.  CMS has assured us that everyone will receive a card before the April 2019 deadline.  We will share more information closer to the deadline about what to do if you do not receive a new card.

Once I get my new card, when should I start using it?

You can start using it immediately!

What if I have a Medicare Advantage plan?  Will I get a new card too?

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you will still receive a new Medicare ID card, but you will continue to use your same Medicare Advantage Plan card.  Keep your new Medicare ID card in a safe place.

What do I do with my old card that has a social security number on it? recommends destroying your old card immediately.

Do I need to notify my Supplement or Part D plan with my new number?

We are working closely with other payers, State Medicaid Agencies, and supplemental insurers to make sure the crossover claims process will still work like it does now. During the transition period, we’ll process and transmit Medicare crossover claims to other health insurance organizations with either the HICN or MBI.  —

A crossover claim is a claim in which Medicare pays first, then a secondary entity pays.  Currently, CMS is planning to handle this on your behalf.  Your provider will also have processes in place to ensure the correct information for claims gets to both Medicare & your supplement company.

Fraud Alert:  Anytime there is a large scale change where personal information is at stake and confusion is imminent, scam artist will abound!  This year-long transition is a prime time for scammers and they will, no doubt, come up with new & innovative ways to target anyone with Medicare.  As you probably already know, the Senior Citizen demographic has long been a favorite target of scammers.

Some things to remember in order to protect your information:

  • Medicare and/or Social Security will NEVER call you to ask for your personal information, charge you for information or a card, ask you money, or threaten you.  If you receive any call in which this occurs, HANG UP!  You can report the number they called from to Medicare or to your local police office.
  • Do not leave your old card with a social security number lying around or continue to carry it with you.  You should destroy it or lock it in a safe place.  Once you have a new card & verify that it works, there is no reason to keep the old card.
  • Only give your new Medicare ID number to people you know & trust, like your doctor’s office or pharmacy.  Do not give your new number to someone over the phone unless you know them personally & trust them.

I hope this article has provided you with the information you need to feel prepared for the coming transition.  If you have other questions, please feel free to call, email, or contact us on Facebook for more information.

Is there still a Tax Penalty?


Penalty for not having health coverage…Individual Mandate…Obamacare tax…Shared Responsibility Payment — No matter what you call it, there has been some confusion over whether or not it still exists.

On December 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed a tax bill that, in part, repeals the tax penalty for not having health coverage.  However, that will not go into effect until 2019.

So, if you did not have health coverage in 2017 and/or you don’t have it in 2018, you are still on the hook for the penalty at tax time unless you qualify for an exemption.

“Uh, no!  I dropped my coverage because I didn’t think I’d have to pay the penalty this year!  I checked the exemption requirements & I don’t qualify for one.  What do I do now?”

Well, friend, you’re in a tough spot because the rules about WHEN you can apply for health coverage still apply.  You can only enroll for coverage through the Marketplace during Open Enrollment each year (Nov. 1 — Dec. 15) or if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.  Other insurance options include getting covered through a group coverage at work, becoming eligible for Medicaid/Chips, or having coverage through a faith based health coverage, such as a Medi-share plan.  (If you decide to look into a Medi-share plan, DO YOUR RESEARCH!)  Please note, however, that most short term plans will not protect you from the tax penalty.

“How much will my penalty be?”

The penalty is currently $695 per adult and $347.50 per child OR 2.5% or your household income, whichever is greater.  Depending on your situation, the penalty may cost you more than the health coverage would have cost.  Check with your tax professional if you have questions about your specific situation.

As always, I would advise that you do your research or check with a professional before making decisions about your insurance coverage.  The laws surrounding healthcare & health insurance in our country are changing and we expect more changes to come.  Be sure to check back here or give us a call if you have questions!

Welcome to Our Blog!


We are excited to finally offer a blog where we can share what’s going on in the world of insurance, things happening locally that affect your insurance or health, and provide information and resources for you!

While we do an excellent job of matching you with the right product, company, and coverage you need, we also love to use our knowledge and experience to help others!  We offer several free services at our office and we are a resource for information & programs that can be used to fill in the gaps where insurance may fail (such as the Donut Hole).

As time goes on and we share more information, we hope you will find this blog to be a great source of information!