Don’t keep your Medicare card in your wallet.
36 percent of people 50 years and older are the victims of Identity Theft. This “mature market” is the single largest group for all ID Theft. (Association of Mature American Citizens 1/14) (Jump to Lessons Learned)
Guest contributor Nancy Sobin has addressed this issue before in an article on “safeguarding digital assets” and on the consequences of “medical identity theft”. Carrying your Medicaid card with your Social Security number printed right on it puts you at greater risk.
There is a new law that requires Social Security numbers be removed from Medicare cards. The change will be gradual, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) start sending new cards in April 2018. New cards will have a randomly generated 11-character Medicare Beneficiary Identifier. It will take until April 2019 before SSNs are removed from all cards.
Information to be sent out in 2018 will explain how to use the new card and what to do with your old one. Until this change is in place, protect yourself by only carrying your Medicare when you visit a health care provider for the first time, so the provider can make a copy for its file. For emergencies, make a copy with the last four digits of your Social Security number blacked out and keep that in your wallet.
- 49 percent of individuals 50 years of age and older are victims of fraud
- Nearly 25 percent of the identity theft complaints related to tax or wage-related fraud
- The top 5 states for ID theft in order were Florida, Georgia, California, Arizona, and Texas
- New law to strip social security numbers from Medicare cards
- Medicare-fraud prevention
Disclaimer: The material in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace, nor does it replace, consulting with a physician, lawyer, accountant, financial planner or other qualified professional.