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New Medicare cards bring questions about duplicates, delays and scammers

Medicare website photo

The new, more secure Medicare cards started hitting mail boxes in Washington State more than a month ago, but some people say they're still waiting.

If you're 65 or older and haven't received your new card yet, Medicare says don't worry, the mailings for Washington are not quite finished and your old card will continue to work.

According to the Medicare website, as of October 2018, Washington is among the 19 states and U.S. territories where cards are still being delivered.

Which is one reason KOMO viewers like Grace P. in Seattle are still getting calls from scammers.

"A gentleman called me and wanted to verify my medicare numbers," said Grade in a voice message to the Problem Solver tip line.

Fortunately, Grace had seen my earlier alert about how Anna in Bellevue got duped by the Medicare scammers. Thanks to Anna sharing her story, Grace knew to hang up the phone.

After the scam call however, Grace told me she got not one, but two new Medicare cards in the mail.

Medicare says if you get duplicate cards with identical numbers, you can keep the extra card or securely destroy one of them.

If you get multiple cards with different numbers, contact Medicare and let them know.

You should also contact Medicare if you have not received your new card, but the Medicare website indicates the mailings for your state are complete.

And Medicare does want to hear from you if you get a call from scammers. Just remember, never give any information. Medicare will not call you out of the blue asking for information and you never have to pay money to get a new Medicare card.

You can contact Medicare online, or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.

Based on Grace's experience, if you receive your new card right before needing to use it- you might want to call ahead to make sure the doctor or pharmacy can process your new number.

Grace said even with duplicate new cards, she had to use her old card number in order to get a flu shot.

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