Medicare Cards to Remove Social Security Numbers Part 2

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) officially recommends that you must destroy your old card and start immediately with the new one. However, my personal recommendation is slightly different: bring your new Medicare card with you and use it, but do not destroy the old one. Place your old card in a small clear plastic bag that indicates it is the old card and store it in a safe place. Your old card can be used as insurance in case of unexpected interruptions in the computer systems used by the government and your doctor or hospital while processing your claims. After all, when Obamacare was introduced, that is exactly what happened. Everyone remembers the massive computer problems with the state exchanges when Obamacare was introduced. But few realize that two of Colorado’s largest insurance companies, Kaiser and Anthem, also had serious computer problems the first year they introduced Obamacare.  Both the old and the new card will work theoretically until January 1, 2020. At this point, the government will no longer accept old Medicare cards and can destroy your old Medicare card. Ge a quote for an advantage plan here https://www.medicareadvantageplans2019.org

Be alert to fraud. Four things you should never do:

CMS warns consumers against fraud related to the introduction of new Medicare cards. The following are 4 things you must not do:

  1. Do not share your Medicare number or other personal information with people who contact you by email, phone, or in person, except you have given your permission in advance. If they say they are from Medicare, do not believe them, because Medicare will never call you to get information unless you have contacted them before.
  2. Never pay anyone to get a Medicare card. The cards are always free. If you lose your card and require a replacement, call Medicare for a free replacement card.
  3. Do not engage in surveys since this is another trick to obtain part of your personal information.
  4. Do not get involved in programs that claim to help you sign up for Medicare plan, from persons you do not know, limited-time offers, early discounts to get a Medicare card, or free medical services.

NOTE: If someone communicates with you with any of the above tricks or you cancel your Medicare medical care if you do not share your personal information, hang up and call Medicare.  Contact the Federal Trade Commission if you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, or believe you have provided personal information to someone you should not have. Is it even appropriate to issue my Medicare card and other personal information? Medicare or someone who represents Medicare will only call in these situations and request personal information: A Medicare drug or health policy (such as a Medicare Advantage plan) may call you if you are a member of the plan already. The broker or agent who helped you join can also call you. A Customer Service Representative from Medicare can call you if you have called and left a message before, or if a Medicare representative tells you that they will call you.

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