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Changes to Medicare Cards May Be Opportunity for Scams

In April of 2015 President Obama signed a bill that will effectively remove social security numbers from Medicare cards to help prevent fraud and protect consumers. However, this change may cause an initial increase in scams against older adults.

Following the announcement of the change, criminals may begin to contact individuals stating they are calling to assist with assigning a new number. They will then ask for identifying information including a current Medicare number, or the beneficiary’s social security number.

With more than 4,500 individuals enrolling in Medicare each day, this provides a large opportunity for identity theft and fraud. In order to protect yourselves and your loved ones, keep the following in mind:

  • Medicare will not contact you by phone to complete this change.

  • Medicare will have up to four years to begin issuing cards with different identifiers to new beneficiaries who are enrolling.

  • Medicare will have an additional four years to change identifiers for current beneficiaries already enrolled in the program.

If you ever receive emails, text messages, or phone calls by individuals stating they are from Social Security or Medicare, please contact your local Social Security office or the nationwide toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 to verify their legitimacy. Do not provide them with any personal information.

Information obtained from www.medicare.gov. For more information contact your Caring Workplace Eldercare Specialist, Heather Spindler at 314-802-5106 or via email at hspindler@seniorsolutions-stl.com.