Medicare To Issue New Cards In Anti-Fraud Effort.October 30 2017
The AP (9/14, Neergaard) reports that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will begin mailing Medicare beneficiaries new cards in April that do not include social security numbers as part of an effort to fight identity theft. Seema Verma explained that “criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 and older for medical identity theft.” Congress has set an April 2019 deadline for all beneficiaries to have received the new design – which was revealed Thursday. NPR (9/14, Kodjak) reports that instead of social security numbers, the new cards will have “a randomly generated sequence of 11 numbers and letters.” The AARP has long advocated for the change and recommends to seniors “not to carry their original Medicare card but only a copy with the last four digits of their Social Security number blotted out.” Congress has allocated $242 million for the update. Health Data Exchange Could Save Medicare $3.12 Billion Annually, Study Says.