While seniors all over the country get newer and more secure Medicare cards, experts warn against scammers who try to get people to pay money and provide personal data.
The government is gradually replacing the Medicare cards of over 60 million people participating in the state’s health plan. Previously, the cards used the social security number of the beneficiary as the Medicare number, which presented a risk of identity theft. A change was commissioned by the congress in 2015.
“It’s been a lot of time, but it’s under development, “According to Sue Greeno of the not-for-profit Center for Medicare Advocacy.
The new card has an 11-digit Medicare ID containing numbers and letters, such as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that runs Medicare.
Although the cards are safer, the criminals are always seeking for new ways to cheat, said Amy Nofziger, a fraud specialist at AARP. Recent fraud calls show that some people have received calls that asked for a fee to issue a new Medicare card or request personal information before issuing a new one.
These calls are fraudulent. “The card is free”, Mrs. Nofziger said and will be automatically sent.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid services indicate that Medicare will never call you without asking the user to provide personal or private information to obtain the new number and the Medicare card.”
The government began to send the cards in the spring. Meanwhile, because e-mails are sent in batches, people should not panic when a friend or family member from another state receives a new card before they do, according to a Medicare administrator. The agency is about halfway through the postal order. Recently they started sending the cards to those in Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. The expedition began in July in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the remainder of New England.
You can see a specific section of the Medicare website where the cards were sent and you can enter your email address to be notified when the shipments will start in your state.
Here are some questions and answers about the new Medicare card:
Q. The Medicare website states that new cards have been sent to my state, but I have not received any. What should I do?
A. According to the Medicare and Medicaid service centers, cards are sent in each wave. The agency advises you to check your account on MyMedicare.gov to see if it has been sent. (If you do not have an account, you need to create one).
Every person in Medicare must have a new card on or before April. But within a transition period, doctors will accept old cards until December 31, 2019, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Q. What should I do with my old Medicare card?
A. Once the new card is received, you can take it to the doctor and destroy the old card and inform the agency. An AARP staff member recommends using an old shredder to render the old card unusable.