Unfortunately, scammers target vulnerable populations including people over the age of 65. It has been this way for centuries and most likely not changed. They aim for older individuals over the phone, claiming to be a representative of Medicare. To inhibit this, CMS has announced they will be issuing more secure Medicare cards to all Medicare recipients starting in 2018.
How they are more secure:
In the past, the Medicare ID number has included a person’s social security number. This has put individuals in danger of fraud and identity theft. To fix this, the new Medicare cards will have a new ID number on them. The Medicare number generates randomly so that there is not any personal information associated with the individual on the card. The Medicare card number will consist of a mix of eleven numbers and capitalized letters.
This new format of the Medicare card will keep someone from getting a patient’s personal information so easily. By getting rid of the old format, someone trying to defraud an individual will not be able to get their social security number by asking for their Medicare card number.
How does someone get the new Medicare card?
Patients who now have a Medicare card do not need to do a single thing. CMS will automatically send out new cards starting in 2018. Once someone receives their new card, they can use it immediately.
It is important that he or she destroys the old card when they receive the new one. By destroying the old card safely, patients will keep themselves safe from fraudulent activity and identity theft. A safe way to destroy the old Medicare card is to shred it or cut it up into small pieces and dispose of it in multiple waste cans.
When a patient receives his or her new card, they should take it to their next appointment with their physician. The physician’s office needs the new Medicare card number on file.
Individuals with Medicare will have increased peace of mind with the new Medicare card. The social security number of the individual is no longer on the card and the new number is much more secure. CMS is sending out the new Medicare cards in 2018 and should have every beneficiary’s card mailed out by 2019. Just tell your patients to 9wait for your new card and start using it as soon as they get it.