New Medicare Cards in the Mail—Don’t Fall Prey to Scammers

Medicare card scamMedicare 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:

  • Is someone calling, claiming to be from Medicare, and asking for your Social Security number or bank information?  Hang up.  That’s a scam.  First, Medicare won’t call you.  Second, Medicare will never ask for your Social Security number or bank information.
  • Is someone asking you to pay for your new card?  That’s a scam.  Your new Medicare card is free.
  • Is someone threatening to cancel your benefits if you don’t give up information or money?  Also a scam.  New Medicare cards will be mailed out to you automatically.  There won’t be any changes to your benefits.

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.


Heather Martin

Heather Martin

Senior Manager

Amy DeLong

Amy DeLong

Senior Manager

Eric Elliott

Eric Elliott

Principal

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