Medicare cards are getting a much-needed facelift. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced its intention to remove Social Security numbers from the cards in an effort to protect cardholders from identity theft. The updated cards will use a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) in place of the Social Security number.
The MBI will be used for billing, eligibility checks, and claims status. Medicare will begin mailing the new cards this April, with the transition expected to be complete within the year. The new cards will be free, and no action is required on the part of the member.
However, the issuance of new Medicare cards makes this transition ripe for con-artists. A blog on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website offers the following tips, so Medicare members can protect their financial and personal information from scams:
Please feel free to share this guidance with anyone you know might be affected by the change.
If you have questions about this information, contact PYA at (800) 270-9629 or visit cms.gov.