To prevent fraud and identity theft, beginning next year in April, Medicare will mail its 55.3 million beneficiaries new cards on which the Social Security Number (SSN) will be replaced with a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) of 11 letters and numbers.
Con artists are opportunists and target seniors, especially in times of transition or change. Senior Medicare Patrols (SMPs) nation-wide are already receiving reports from beneficiaries of calls from scammers posing as government officials from Medicare, Social Security Administration, IRS, etc. They may claim they need to confirm the beneficiary’s SSN and charge a fee for the new card to expedite the service. Medicare will NOT charge for the new card, nor will they call to confirm the SSN! Beneficiaries that receive calls like this should hang up and report it to Indiana SMP.
The only change to the Medicare program is the mailing of the new card beginning April 2018 and continuing through April 2019. Medicare benefits are not affected. Medicare recommends shredding the old card upon receipt of the new card. Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers should continue to protect the new Medicare card information and not give out ANY personal information to strangers or unsolicited medical providers. As we say in SMP, “Guard your card!”
- New cards. Same Medicare.
- No cost to you.
- No changes to benefits.
- New cards mailed beginning April 2018.