What You Need To Know About The New Medicare Cards

July 17, 2017 in Our News & Bulletins by Uptown HC

Starting next April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin mailing new cards to all of the current 58 million beneficiaries. The major difference between these cards and the old ones is that they will no longer have social security numbers printed on them. Instead they will have a randomly assigned Medicare Beneficiary Identifier. This code will be 11 digits long and made up of letters and numbers. However, people should be vigilant with these new numbers as they are sensitive information just like a social security number.

The move for this comes after many years of the government urging CMS to stop putting social security numbers on their cards, as this leaves seniors at risk for identity theft. There have been increasing incidents of identity theft against seniors in recent years. In the last two years alone there has been a big spike in the number of occurrences. From 2014 to 2016 the number of reported identity thefts rose from 2.1 to 2.6 million.

However, people have already begun to try and take advantage of this new system by trying to scam elders. The two most common scams have been those asking for advance payments for the card and asking for the newly assigned number. If you are currently enrolled in Medicare, you will automatically receive a new card. There is nothing special you must do to get one. You should also not have to relay this information over the phone as your number should already by on file with the Medicare offices.

All the Medicare cards will be replaced with these new ones by April of 2019.

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