Beware scams around 'new' Medicare cards

In 2018, Medicare updated the Medicare card from containing a person's Social Security number to a random identifier that includes numbers and letters. That was the last time the card was updated and there is no plan to update it again.

What does the card look like?

The card from Medicare is a paper card that has a blue banner on the top, a white middle, and a red banner on the bottom. However, you can print your own in black and white.

Examples of Medicare card scams

Someone calls you claiming:

You are getting a new, plastic Medicare card.

Medicare is switching to a card with a chip in it.

It's a new year so you need a new card.

You need a black and white card.They need your Medicare number to see if you have received your new one yet.

They need you to verify your Medicare number so they can confirm you have the correct Medicare card.

What can you do to stop new Medicare card scams?

Do not answer calls from numbers you do not recognize.

Do not confirm your Medicare number or answer "yes" to any question.

Guard your Medicare card and number like a credit card. Don't share your number, laminate it, make copies or let anyone else make a copy.

How can your Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) help?

Your local SMP is ready to provide you with the information you need to protect yourself from Medicare fraud, errors and abuse; detect potential fraud, errors and abuse; and report your concerns. SMPs and their trained teams help educate and empower Medicare beneficiaries in the fight against health care fraud. Your SMP can help you with your questions, concerns or complaints about potential fraud and abuse issues. It also can provide information and educational presentations.

Contact the State of Alaska Senior Medicare Patrol office at 800-478-6065 or 907-269-3680.