Watch Out for Medicare Scammers as New Medicare Cards are Issued
If you have read any of my other blog posts detailing the evils of Medicare fraud, then you know what a pervasive and serious problem it is. Not only does it cost Medicare recipients and taxpayers such as yourself millions in false claims, it can also cost lives in some rare cases due to malpractice and misdiagnosis.
This is why the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched an initiative to help tackle this complex problem. It is called the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI), which accomplishes almost exactly what it sounds like it does. The measure ensures that Medicare will issue new Medicare cards to over 57 million enrollees with (you guessed it) the Social Security numbers removed. Instead the card will proudly display a new identification number called the Member Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). Medicare hopes that, with such an important number replaced on the card, it will make it more difficult for the bad guys to steal your precious identity.
However, the reason why I am alerting you of such a change is because the Better Business Bureau predicts that, scammers will prey on the uncertainty of this transition in the form of phone scams, and I do not want you to be a victim. Over the period of April 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019, be on special guard against these kinds of attacks. Knowing how this initiative will take place will help keep you safe. Therefore, keep the following things in mind about the SSNRI:
- You will not need to pay for your new card. If someone claims you have to, it’s a scam.
- You will not need to share your Social Security Number over the phone either. Reminder: Medicare will not call you or ask for personal information over the phone.
- You will not lose your Medicare Coverage in this transition. If anyone threatens this if you do not give them your information, it is a scam as well.
- This process is entirely automatic! Your new card will just show up in the mail sometime between April 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019.
It’s certainly frustrating that scammers can take an initiative designed to stop them and use the process as an opportunity to trick even more people. However, once you have your new Medicare card in hand, it will make it even more difficult on them. And, as long as you remember those four points, you will keep yourself safe in the transition as well.
Did you know that if you have been in the same Medicare Supplement for 4-5 years, you are likely overpaying for your coverage? Click here to find out how much you could be paying: https://seniormark.com/resources/#medicare-rate.
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