Ken Selzer, CPA, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, wants Kansans to know that new Medicare identification cards for beneficiaries do not include changes to current coverage or benefits.

“When Kansans begin receiving new Medicare cards after June 2018, the only change is they will have new identification numbers,” Commissioner Selzer said. “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is required to remove Social Security Numbers from beneficiary IDs.”

The cards are being mailed in a state-by-state sequence that includes Kansas cards mailing sometime after June, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The new ID cards are to be distributed throughout the United States by April 2019.

The Kansas Insurance Department does not regulate regular Medicare, but it does regulate Medicare Supplement plans.

Commissioner Selzer offers these tips to beneficiaries receiving new IDs: Destroy the old card immediately upon receiving the new one. Use the new ID number for all Medicare transactions from that point on.

Watch out for Medicare scams regarding the cards. New cards will be mailed to beneficiaries, and no one connected with Medicare will be calling or knocking on doors. If you have Medicare questions, call the Senior Health Insurance Counselors of Kansas (SHICK). The number is 800-860-5260. You can also see a short video on the new cards at www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html.

Current coverage and benefits will not change for those receiving new cards unless the beneficiaries make a change at open enrollment time near the end of 2018.

If you have a Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage coverage or a Part D prescription drug plan, keep those identification cards. They are separate from the regular Medicare coverage.

The Kansas Insurance Department, established in 1871, assists and educates consumers, regulates and reviews companies, and licenses agents selling insurance products in the state. More about the department is online at www.ksinsurance.org or at www.facebook.com/kansasinsurancedepartment.