Friday, April 14, 2017
From the Office of the Insurance Commissioner
If you are on Medicare, have you heard you will soon receive your new Medicare card? Are you wondering when you will get it and why the change? It isn’t happening until April 2018, but scammers are already taking advantage of the confusion as a way to commit fraud.
The change to the cards will help prevent fraud and protect your identity. Currently, most people’s Social Security number is their Medicare card number, which makes collecting Medicare numbers an easy target for scammers to steal your identity, open new credit cards or take out loans in your name. The new Medicare card number, however, will not be tied to your Social Security number and will provide more security.
How do the scams work?
Some scammers call beneficiaries claiming to be with Medicare and say they must confirm their current Medicare numbers before they can send out a new card. Others call saying there is a charge for the new card and are collecting beneficiaries’ personal information.
There is no charge for the new Medicare card and Medicare will never call you for your information. They already have it.
If you receive any such calls or suspicious solicitations, hang up and call the Washington State Senior Medicare Patrol with our Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program at 1-800-562-6900.
If you need help with your Medicare, you can also call SHIBA and ask to speak with a SHIBA advisor in your local area. Call us at 1-800-562-6900.