Older adults across the nation are expected to receive new Medicare cards by April 2019. With this update, it’s important to know what to expect and to be on the lookout for con artists trying to steal money or personal information.
If you receive Medicare, you should expect to receive a new Medicare card in the mail between April 2018 and April 2019. The card will have a new, randomly assigned Medicare number instead of your Social Security number. You will not need to pay for the new Medicare card. The card will come to you automatically; no one who truly represents Medicare will call you to ask for money or to verify your personal information to get this new card.
Medicare.gov, the program’s official government website, has highlighted a few scams related to the new card distribution. Beware of:
Someone calling you wanting to confirm your Medicare or Social Security number in order to issue you a new card. (The real Medicare program will not call to confirm your Social Security number. Also, it will use your mailing address on file with the Social Security Administration.)
Anyone trying to charge you for the new card and wanting to verify personal details. (The real card is free and will be mailed to you automatically.)
Someone claiming your Medicare coverage will be canceled unless you provide personal information such as your Medicare number.
Even though the new Medicare card will no longer include your Social Security number, it is still important to treat this card as you would treat any other sensitive personal information. Medical identity theft occurs throughout our country, and it can happen when someone uses your personal information to order medical equipment or procedures without your consent.
To learn more about the new card, visit the official site for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card. If you suspect a scam or an unfair business practice, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.