Medicare beneficiaries: 10 things to know about your new card

Updated: Apr. 6, 2018 at 1:31 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Medicare is sending medicare beneficiaries a new card in the mail starting this month. If you one of the over 750,000 Louisianans covered by Medicare, here are ten things you should know about your new card.

1. Your Medicare card may arrive at a different time than everyone else's. That is normal.

2.The SWLA Center for Health Services says not to throw away your old Medicare card when your new Medicare card arrives. It takes time for all the information to be put into the system.

3. Only give your Medicare number to your doctor, pharmacist, other health care providers, your insurers, or people who work with Medicare. Otherwise, you are asked to not give out your card number.

4. The new Medicare card will be paper. Paper cards are easier for providers to use and copy, and it saves taxpayers money. You can also print your own replacement card if needed.

5. Doctors and other health care facilities and providers know you are going to get a new Medicare card. They will ask you for your new card when you need care.

6.Your new Medicare card number is unique. It will not be your Social Security number anymore, it will be a new number, unique to you.

7.Keep your new Medicare card with you and show it to your health care provider when you need care.

8. If you forget your new card number, you or your health care provider can look your new number up online.

9. If you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan, like HMO or PPO, that is still your main card for Medicare, but carry your new Medicare card because you may be asked for both.

10. If you do not receive your new Medicare card by April 2019, or if you need help, you are asked to call 1-800-MEDICARE. (1-800-633-4227) or TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

The Lake Charles SWLA Center for Health Services is also available if you need help with your Medicare plan, or if you want to sign up or change your plan. They are available at their main line 337-439-9983. They also have Outreach Enrollment Specialists at each location that can help you chose the plan best for you.