New Medicare Cards on the Way: Watch Out for Scams!

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will be sending new Medicare Cards to more than 58 million enrollees starting in April. With the passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 CMS is required to replace all cards that currently use a recipient’s Social Security Number with one that uses a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). This change was mandated by Congress to help protect citizens from identity theft and fraud.

With these new security measures comes an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting Medicare recipients. If you are currently receiving or plan to enroll in Medicare, be particularly cautious if someone comes to your door or calls you and claims to represent Medicare. These people will claim to be representatives to gain your trust so they can steal your money, personal information, or social security number. The receipt of this new card will be automatic. You don’t have to do anything.

NARCOG encourages Medicare recipients to keep the following tips in mind:

  • “Mailing takes time. Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
  • Destroy your old Medicare card. Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away.
  • Your Medicare Number is unique. Your card has a new number instead of your Social Security Number. This new number is unique to you.
  • Your new card is paper. Paper cards are easier for many providers to use and copy.
  • Your doctor knows it’s coming. Doctors, other health care facilities and providers will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care.
  • You can find your number. If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.

If you don’t get your new Medicare card by April 2019, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

Source: CMS, Congress.gov and NARCOG

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