Last week, we discussed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) announcement about the huge outreach effort they’re initiating to prepare the public and Medicare beneficiaries for the distribution of new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019 http://www.seniorpatientadvocates.com/new-medicare-cards-coming-in-2017-2018/. Printing social security numbers on Medicare cards has been considered a vulnerability for years. As such, Senior Patient Advocates supports the goal at the heart of this effort, to minimize personal identify theft caused by having Social Security numbers on Medicare cards, and expects it will be successful long term. However, we want to caution our community to remain aware and prepared for potential scams that are already surfacing as a result of this transition.
Beneficiaries should prepare to get unsolicited phone calls from “official-sounding” people asking for personal details so new cards can be sent. These “official-sounding” people will likely request personal information and tell you it’s required to verify your account and mail your card. It’s important to remember that CMS would NOT conduct this type of business over the phone, and DO NOT provide any personal information to these callers.
Medicare beneficiaries are also reporting a different scam where callers are telling recipients that Congress requires a fee for their new card. Callers are scaring recipients by telling them they’ll lose Medicare benefits if they don’t purchase a new card. Recipients are asked to provide their checking account number as well as their existing Medicare number.
Ignore these calls and report them to the CMS. Cards will be automatically mailed and no phone or electronic verification will be required.
Have more questions? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help. http://www.seniorpatientadvocates.com/contact/