If you are or someone you know is on Medicare, there are a few things that you should know about new Medicare cards being issued.
For years, Medicare cards contained a Social Security Number. But, this leads to people falling victim to identity theft and other types of fraud.
To make things more safe and secure, the Center for Medicare Services changed these cards to now have a unique, random number. This change makes it harder for criminals to steal identities and commit other types of fraud.
If you are on Medicare, there is nothing that you need to do. This new card will be mailed to you automatically, starting this week.
When you get your new card, start using it right away. The old card should be destroyed. but, you might want to wait a few months before destroying it, just to be sure that the transition goes smoothly.
Be particularly careful if you get a call or email from someone claiming to need your social security number, your new Medicare number, or other personal information. Watch out for scammers who try to get you to pay for the card. these cards are issued at no cost.
Also, Medicare will not call or email to ask for your personal information. If you get a phone call or email that is confusing or sounds suspicious, check things out with a reliable source before providing any information.
Do not automatically trust a phone number that you are given by phone or email.
If you are confused or suspect something is wrong, contact the center for Medicare services at CMS.gov., or consumer resources like our call for action office for help.