Medicare is asking doctors to play a new video in their waiting rooms to remind patients that the federal government will begin mailing them new identification cards next month.
The video gives beneficiaries a glimpse at what the new card will look like and explains why and how it was modified. Instead of a Social Security number, the cards will display an 11-digit Medicare beneficiary identifier, and they will no longer include gender and a signature.
Eliminating the personal details, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) officials say, will better protect an enrollee’s identity and guard against fraud.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) urges Medicare enrollees to make sure the agency has their correct address on file. You can go to socialsecurity.gov/myaccount or call 800-772-1213 to update your address.
Scammers with various ploys have already started to target the 58 million individuals who will be getting new cards. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that con artists are calling beneficiaries and pretending to be from Medicare, then trying to talk them into paying for the revised card. Medicare will never call and ask for any personal identification or money for the new cards. The cards are free and will be mailed to members’ homes.
Medicare beneficiaries in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia will be the first enrollees to receive the replacement cards. The mailings will continue through 2019.