(OLNEY/NEWTON) Beginning here in April, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin mailing out new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare as a new alpha-numeric identifier will replace the current Social Security Number-based identifier. This roll-out will occur over a several month period, based upon the geographic location of the Medicare beneficiary. There are concerns that people might believe that this is a “scam” and therefore will ignore notifications or throw new identification cards away. Those who are Medicare beneficiaries should watch their mail closely over the next few months for notifications from Medicare relating to this change. Medicare beneficiaries should begin bringing their new cards with them to healthcare visits as soon as they receive it. Here’s the way it will work : (1) newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries will get a card in the mail with a unique number, regardless of their geographic location : (2) people with Medicare can now go online at www.Medicare.gov/newcard to sign up for emails about the card mailing and to check the card mailing status in their state : (3) people with Medicare should use the card once they receive it, but either the Social Security Number-based (old) card or the new random alpha-numeric-based numbers can be used through December 2019 : (4) beginning January 1, 2020, only the new card will be usable. Again, for details go to www.Medicare.gov/newcard.