Seniors Warned About New Medicare Card Scams-Truth!

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Seniors Warned About New Medicare Card Scams-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

Medicare beneficiaries have been warned about scams involving new Medicare cards being sent out in April 2018

The Truth:

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing new Medicare cards to all beneficiaries in April 2018. Ahead of the planned rollout, warnings about new Medicare card scams circulated on social media and via email. We haven’t been able to confirm any specific threats — but it’s important for Medicare beneficiaries to remain vigilant of potential threats.
All Medicare beneficiaries receive a Medicare card in the mail three months before their 65th birthday, or after their 25 month of disability benefits. But CMS announced that all beneficiaries would be receiving a new Medicare card in the mail in April 2018. The new Medicare ID cards feature a unique Medicare number for each beneficiary instead of using Social Security numbers. CMS warns that the number should only be provided to doctors, healthcare providers, and insurers. Also, the new Medicare cards will be mailed automatically, so beneficiaries don’t have to take any action. CMS also warned about potential scams involving the new Medicare cards:

Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare Number) by contacting you about your new card. If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang up and call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).  Learn more about the limited situations in which Medicare can call you.

There were already a few reports of new Medicare card scams by February 2018. One social media post warned that scammers had contacted beneficiaries by phone to sell them a “temporary” Medicare card for $5 to $50. The scammers then request bank information and other personal details. The warning has been attributed to an AARP member named Bob Paggi, but we were unable to confirm his identity or the validity of the threat. Regardless, it’s important to note that Medicare will never request personal information in an unsolicited phone call or email.