Last month, the U.S. government began issuing new Medicare cards to every Medicare recipient in the country.
The roll-out is happening in phases, going state-by-state, with all new cards expected to be distributed by April of 2019. Residents in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland are among the first getting the new cards.
As a protection against identity theft and fraud, the new cards will no longer feature your Social Security number. Instead, you’ll see a unique identification number, called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).
The MBI is made up of 11 random numbers and letters, and – like your Social Security number – is confidential and should stay private.
The arrival of these new cards is already attracting scammers eager to cheat senior citizens out of their money.
According to the AARP, these scammers will typically make the following claims:
- You need to pay for your new card or risk losing access to Medicare
- Medicare needs your bank and credit card information to update its files
- Medicare needs your bank info to send you a refund for your old card
- Medicare must confirm your social security information before it can send you the new card.
Remember that Medicare will never call, email, or visit you in person unless you’ve asked them to do so.
They will also never ask for money or your Medicare number. If you get a call that seems suspect, don’t give out any personal information. Just hang up and call 1-800-Medicare to report the possible scam.
If you need help dealing with the often-complex world of Medicare and Medicaid, Gummer Elder Law can help. Our team has spent years working with seniors to make sure they get the car and protection the deserve. Contact us today to learn more.