If you have Medicare, a new Medicare card will be sent to you any time soon.
As mandated in congress in 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will be mailing out new identification card (new Medicare card) to all Medicare recipients, which is approximately 58.5 million, by April 2019. The new card will help protect your identity and keep your personal information more secured. Your Medicare coverage and benefits stay the same.
What will be changed?
A new and unique ID number will be randomly assigned to each Medicare recipient instead of displaying your Social Security number. This to protect against identity theft. It is known that scammers are using Social Security numbers to commit some of the worst types of fraud such as opening lines of credit in the victim’s name or filing fraudulent tax returns. Another common crime that scammers do is getting medical care or prescriptions using this false identifier.
The transition period will run through the end of 2019. This pertains to a time when you can use either your old ID number or the new one, a.k.a. Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI.
Also, please note that these new Medicare cards will be sent out in waves over the next 12 months. So, this means that every Medicare recipient will receive them at the same time.
Increasing number of identity theft:
As per recent federal data, the prime target for identity theft are the oldest Americans – 65 or older. Fraud incidents increased to 2.6 million in 2014 from 2.1 million in 2012.
Here’s the list of reported elder financial fraud cases and its percentage as per North American Securities Administrators Association:
- Third-party abuse/exploitation 27%
Account distributions 26%
Family member, trustee or power of attorney taking advantage 23%
Diminished capacity 12%
Combined diminished capacity and third-party abuse 12%
Elder exploitation 5.7%
Friend, housekeeper or caretaker taking advantage 1%
Excessive withdrawals 1%
What are the damages these fraud cases cause to Medicare recipients?
Of course, aside from emotional harm, fraud can cause casualty to the victim’s personal credit and can reflect inaccurate medical records and faulty medical claims.
Be aware of fraudsters.
- Amidst the government’s attempt to make social security numbers secured, scammers are still up-to-date in doing newer tactics to get this vital information. In fact, several reports have been filed where fraudsters’ new modus includes calling Medicare recipients and even asks for payment from victims who would like to receive their new Medicare card.
- And since the new Medicare card will arrive by mail, you should make sure that the Social Security Administration has your new address, that is if you’ve moved. This is to ensure that no other person will be able to receive your new Medicare card. The address you have on file should always be updated for security purposes.
- If you’re one of those Medicare recipients who don’t show their Medicare card when they visit the doctor or other health provider (show their Medicare card when they visit the doctor or other health provider), it is highly recommended that you keep in a safe place such as inside a safety deposit or fireproof lockbox.
- Once you get your new identification card, it is best to destroy your old Medicare card right away to avoid lost stolen cards with social security numbers.
- Be mindful of people contacting you about your new Medicare card and asking you for your Medicare number or personal information. Your Medicare number should be treated with ample privacy and always remember that Medicare will never contact you uninvited to ask for your personal information.
- For further security measures, don’t allow anyone, except your doctor or other Medicare providers, to review your medical records or recommend services.
- And lastly, always take time to report suspected instances of fraud.
Do you have further questions?
Ask your local Medicare and health insurance consultants such as Health Plans In Oregon. Assistance is free and you can ask anything that could be able to help you secure your coverage and benefits. We’ve been providing help to Oregonians since 2006 and we’ll be able to assist you thru 503-998-6169 / email@example.com.