If there is a way to scam you out of money, thieves will be all over it. Unfortunately this is happening with the rollout of the new Medicare cards.
Medicare is removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. By April 2019, all Medicare participants will receive a replacement insurance card with a new, unique number. This move is expected to reduce medical identity theft for Medicare beneficiaries. It is also expected to decrease the amount of Medicare fraud, saving the government and taxpayers money. (See my January blog post, Social Security Numbers to be Jettisoned from Medicare Cards.)
As soon as Medicare began mailing the new cards in April, scammers started tricking people into divulging sensitive information or paying money. Some of the ways the thieves are doing this are telling Medicare beneficiaries that in order to receive their card they need to pay money, give their Social Security number, or provide bank account information.
This is all false. The new cards do not cost anything. They will arrive in the mail. Beneficiaries are not required to give out any personal or bank information. Medicare already has your Social Security number and does not need to verify it. Medicare does not want or need your bank account information.
If you or your loved one has not yet received your new card, don’t panic. Medicare is randomizing the mailings by geographic location, sending them in batches between April 2018 and April 2019. All beneficiaries should have their new card by April 2019.
By visiting Medicare.gov ,you can sign up for an e-mail to alert you when your card is in the mail. You can also see what the new card will look like, and view a map of the status of the mailings.
Until April 2019, Medicare will process claims using either your new or old number. You do not need to call your providers to give them your new number. Once you have your new card, simply bring it with you to your next appointment. Medicare will also notify your providers of your new number after it processes your claim. If the claim is processed under the old number, Medicare will give your provider the new one.
For more information, visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website, www.smc.gov.
This blog is published to provide you with general information only, and is not intended to provide specific or comprehensive advice. Money Care, LLC encourages individuals to seek advice from competent professionals when appropriate.