Photo Credit: medicare.gov
Coming Soon - Safer Medicare Cards That Offer Protection
Identity theft is a real threat in today’s world, costing billions of dollars every year. Most people readily recognize this crime and use services and technologies to protect personal information and account numbers from fraudsters. However, one area has been slow to catch up: Medicare. This government-run health insurance has made stealing easy for identity thieves – until now.
What Was the Mistake?
While digital data in the Medicare system may be highly secure, the cards themselves contain one of the most valuable pieces of information: your Social Security number. Look at your card and you’ll see that your Medicare number is just your SSN with a letter added on the end. All a thief has to do is remove the letter to know your SSN, commit Medicare fraud, and steal your identity for other criminal purposes.
The Simple Fix That Offers Safety
This problem is finally being addressed to provide participants with safety and peace of mind. Instead of using your SSN, the card will now show a random string of hyphenated numbers and letters that are in no way connected to any of your personal information.
How This Change Affects You
The good news is that the only change is with your number. Your benefits will remain the same, and your card is usable upon receipt. You will receive it sometime between April 2018 and April 2019. You don’t have to take any action or pay a fee to get it. The updated version will be sent in waves, so don’t worry if someone else receives theirs before you do. Make sure your address is up to date to avoid the card getting lost or stolen.
Although the new card is safer, you should still be careful not to lose it to prevent someone from using it to receive your benefits. If anyone contacts you via the phone about it, don’t share private information or make a payment, as the caller is likely a scammer. Shred or cut up your old card for extra security, but keep the Medicare Advantage card you already have.
How To Get More Security and Peace of Mind
Now that you no longer have to worry about a criminal having easy access to your identity, you can focus on other aspects of your health care. If you are unsatisfied with your health insurance, have questions about what policy you need, or want to save money on coverage, let us at Sackett & Associates Insurance Services help you find the right plan. For more information on our services, contact us at 707-823-3689 or use our online form. Remember to like us on Facebook, find us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to our blog.