Everyone knows the Medicare program sustains the highest fraud losses of any other insurance program in the U.S. Well, CMS is attempting to repair that problem.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is changing beneficiaries’ Medicare numbers from Social Security numbers to a new 11-character number referred to as a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The new MBIs will contain numbers and uppercase letters, no special characters.
New Medicare enrollees will automatically receive cards with the new MBIs. Existing beneficiaries will receive their cards in the mail from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and can provide Medicare with their email addresses so they can be notified when their new cards are mailed.
New cards are being mailed during the month of May to beneficiaries in the following states: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The beneficiaries living in the remaining states and territories will receive their cards over the next year.
Important: Medicare is NOT contacting beneficiaries to verify information before mailing the new cards; they are being mailed automatically. To prevent being scammed, keep in mind that the ONLY time Medicare will call a beneficiary to ask for personal information is in 2 situations:
(1) A Medicare health or drug plan can call members of their plans.
(2) A customer service rep from Medicare can return a call when a beneficiary has called Medicare and left a message asking for a callback.
If you are not sure whether the caller is legitimate, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
For more information about the new Medicare card, you can visit Medicare.gov.