New Medicare Card to Prevent Fraud
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is mailing out a new Medicare card to everyone to combat fraud and identify theft.
Old Medicare cards are required to be replaced by April 2019. A unique number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) replaces the Social Security-based Medicare number on the new cards.
“We’re taking this step to protect our seniors from fraudulent use of Social Security numbers which can lead to identity theft and illegal use of Medicare benefits,” said Seema Verma, CMS Administrator. “We want to be sure that Medicare beneficiaries and healthcare providers know about these changes well in advance and have the information they need to make a seamless transition.”
Newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries nationwide started receiving their cards in April. Those who have already been receiving benefits can expect to get a new card according to a scheduled roll out based on their geographical area.
Florida residents are scheduled to receive a new Medicare Card in the mail starting in June.
If you have more questions about the new Medicare card rollout and how it will affect you, visit the outreach & education section at CMS.gov.
Protecting yourself against Identity Theft
Although a unique Medicare number replaces the SSN-based number this year to combat identity theft, Medicare.gov is advising everyone to safeguard their personal information, such as social security, Medicare or credit card numbers.
Here are a few tips to help protect your personal information:
- If someone calls, emails or approaches you in person asking for personal information, do not share it with them.
- Medicare or someone representing Medicare will only call if it’s related to a health or drug plan in which you are already a member or a customer service representative from 1-800-Medicare who is returning your call.
- Only give your personal information to doctors, insurers or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare.
- Familiarize yourself with how medicare uses your personal information.
If you receive communications from someone you don’t know asking for your Medicare number or other personal information call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227)
If you feel you are victim of identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission.