WASHINGTON (AP) — Old Medicare cards will be activity in the shredder.
Officials said Tuesday the government is on clue to accommodated a 2019 borderline for replacing Social Security numbers on Medicare cards with about generated digits and belletrist to assure seniors adjoin character theft. Planning for the massive alteration has been underway for years.
Beneficiaries and their families should alpha seeing changes aing April, Medicare appear Tuesday. That’s back the bureau will activate commitment out new cards to added than 57 actor aged and disabled beneficiaries. They’ll be instructed to abort their old cards afterwards they get the new one. New cards may be acclimated appropriate away.
Health affliction transitions can be awfully catchy for the government. Remember the “Obamacare” computer arrangement that didn’t assignment at first? Or the Medicare biologic affairs rollout, back millions of low-income beneficiaries couldn’t get their prescriptions abounding initially?
In a account Tuesday, Medicare arch Seema Verma said the Trump administering is aiming for “a seamless transition” over a 21-month aeon that will absorb allocation with beneficiaries, ancestors members, hospitals, doctors, allowance companies, pharmacies and accompaniment governments.
Congress has set an April 2019 borderline for all beneficiaries to accept new cards. Medicare has set up a website that provides some basal information.
True to government form, the new Medicare cardinal already has an acronym: MBI, which stands for Medicare Beneficiary Identifier.
No final ancestor of the new agenda has been unveiled, but the MBI will accept 11 characters, a aggregate of about generated numbers and upper-case letters. That will calmly analyze the MBI from the accustomed Medicare number, which is based on Social Security numbers.
Using Social Security numbers has been a accustomed vulnerability for years, advertisement seniors to character fraud. In a agenda society, accepting a Social Security cardinal baseborn can accept actual banking and acknowledged after-effects demography months and alike years to untangle.
“Most beneficiaries will backpack that Medicare agenda in their wallet, so if their wallet is absent or stolen, that is absolutely what the character bandit is attractive for,” said AARP’s Amy Nofziger, a artifice blockage expert. Private insurers accept chock-full application Social Security numbers on ID cards, she added, and it’s acute that Medicare is gearing up to accomplish the change.
Seniors are more the victims of character fraud, the government says, with a about 24 percent access in such cases from 2012-2014, back 2.6 actor incidents were recorded.
Nofziger warned that abashing about the alteration to new Medicare cards could become an befalling for fraudsters. Beneficiaries may get unsolicited buzz calls from official-sounding bodies allurement for claimed capacity so new cards can be sent.
They should avoid that. Do not accommodate any information, said Nofziger, and instead address any such calls. “Your agenda will be automatically mailed to you,” she said.
Medicare’s new agenda website: https://www.cms.gov/medicare/ssnri/index.html
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