Have you heard that you’ll be getting a new Medicare card? Wondering when or why? This isn’t happening until April 2018 but scammers are already jumping on the confusion as an opportunity for fraud.
Due to Congress’ passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is require to remove Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards.
This change is to help prevent fraud and protect your identity. Currently, most people’s Social Security number is their Medicare number, which makes it an easy target for scammers to steal your identity, open new credit cards or take out loans in our name. The new number, however, will not be tied to your Social Security number and is therefore more secure.
CMS will assign all Medicare beneficiaries a new, unique MBI number which will contain a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. Beneficiaries will be instructed to safely and securely destroy their current Medicare cards and keep the new MBI confidential. Issuance of the new MBI will not change the benefits a Medicare beneficiary receives.
So how may scammers use this change to their advantage? Some scammers call beneficiaries claiming to be Medicare and say they must confirm their current Medicare numbers before sending them a new card. Others call saying there is a charge for the new card and are collecting beneficiaries’ personal information. There is no charge for your new card and Medicare will never call you for your information. They already have it.
If you receive any such calls or suspicious solicitations, hang up and call the Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-855-613-7080.
Get CMS news at cms.gov/newsroom.