On September 14, 2017, CMS (Medicare) revealed its new Medicare card design. Instead of using a Social Security number as the Medicare identification number, Medicare will now use a random 11-character mix of numbers and capital letters. As per the CMS press release, “The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars.”
The plan is to issue the new cards between April 2018 and April 2019. All existing Medicare beneficiaries and new beneficiaries will be part of the initiative. We applaud this change, as it is a common sense strategy to at least make it harder for criminals to steal your identity, or commit Medicare fraud.
The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars. — CMS Administrator Seema Verma
CMS even released a 30-second ad to get the word out about this new change (see below)…
But don’t get too comfortable. There have been recent reports of scamsters trying to take advantage of this new initiative. These criminals have been calling Medicare beneficiaries (claiming to be from Medicare) in an effort to obtain bank account information, or Social Security numbers. They tell the Medicare beneficiaries that a fee must be paid to get their new Medicare card, or that they need to verify their Social Security number. CMS Administrator Seema Verma made it very clear, “If anybody is calling you and asking you to verify your Social Security in order to issue your new Medicare card, it is a scam.”
If anybody is calling you and asking you to verify your Social Security in order to issue your new Medicare card, it is a scam. — CMS Administator Seema Verma
Sometimes with good news, comes bad news…so be extra vigilant over the next few years, as criminals may try to target you for your sensitive information.
For more information, visit www.cms.gov/newcard