Pennsylvania’s about 2.5 actor Medicare beneficiaries statewide are amid the aboriginal in the nation to accept new Medicare cards that accept been distinctively advised to abate the accident of character theft.
For decades, the accustomed red, white and dejected cards listed the Medicare beneficiary’s name, gender, blazon of advantage and able date enrolled. But the absolute botheration was anniversary acceptance agenda additionally featured the beneficiary’s amusing aegis number, badly accretion the accident of character annexation if the agenda became absent or stolen.
That’s why Congress ordered the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to aish Amusing Aegis numbers from Medicare cards by April 2019. The new cards are still red, white and blue, but no best accommodate claimed advice that could accommodation a beneficiary’s identity. That’s all been replaced by a about assigned 11-character aggregate of belletrist and numbers that has no affiliation to added claimed data.
While the new Medicare cards are absolutely a footfall advanced for artifice prevention, the administration action is presenting opportunities for con artists to betray earlier adults.
That’s because best seniors don’t apperceive abundant about the new cards. According to an AARP survey, added than three-quarters of Americans over age 65 apperceive little or annihilation about the federal government’s action to alter their Medicare cards. That aforementioned abstraction begin that 60 percent of those surveyed afield accept they ability accept to pay for the new cards.
These days, abyss assuming as Medicare assembly are calling beneficiaries ambitious a processing fee for new Medicare cards. In added cases, fraudsters are cogent beneficiaries that they are owed a acquittance from affairs on their old agenda and are allurement for coffer annual advice to action the reimbursement.
Here are the facts: You don’t accept to do annihilation to accept your new Medicare agenda (as continued as your abode is correct), and there is no activation action or fee. In addition, Medicare will not ask for claimed or clandestine advice or for any money as a action of accepting a new Medicare cardinal and card.
The basal band is Medicare admiral artlessly will never alarm you. So if addition phones your home claiming to charge added advice to accept your new Medicare card, aloof adhere up—it’s a scam.
Once your new Medicare agenda arrives, be abiding to cautiously abort the old agenda by shredding it or acid it into pieces. And amusement the new agenda like any added bloom allowance or acclaim card. Even admitting Amusing Aegis numbers accept been removed, it still needs to be adequate from character thieves.
We accept it’s important for earlier adults to apprentice the facts about the new Medicare cards, and how to abstain acceptable a betray victim. After all, if you can atom a scam, you can stop a scam. You can additionally apprentice added about the new Medicare cards at www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card.
The beat was accounting by Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne and AARP State President Joanne Cortes Grossi.
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