INDIANAPOLIS-- If you are on Medicare and you live in Indiana, you will likely be getting a new card in the mail very soon, if you haven’t already.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) removed social security numbers from the cards in an effort to improve fraud protection.
Instead, the cards contain a unique, randomly-assigned Medicare number that aims to better protect the user’s identity.
“Removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is one of the many ways CMS is committed to putting patients first and improving the consumer healthcare experience,” said Jackie Garner, Regional Administrator. “This change not only protects Medicare patients from fraud but also safeguards taxpayer dollars by making it harder for criminals to use Social Security numbers to falsely bill Medicare for care services and benefits that were never performed.”
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) prompted the change in cards.
CMS began mailing the new Medicare cards to people who currently have Medicare benefits in Indiana earlier this month.
Experts say as soon as you receive your new Medicare card, you should safely and securely destroy your old Medicare card and keep your new Medicare number confidential.
Keep in mind:
- Medicare will never contact you for your Medicare number or other personal information so you can obtain your new Medicare card.
- Don’t pay for your new Medicare card. It’s free. If anyone calls or approaches you and says you need to pay for it, that’s a scam.
- Guard your card. When you get your new card, safeguard it like you would health insurance or credit cards.
- Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other healthcare providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
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