Medicare ID Card Fraud: How to Catch a Scammer

Scammers are taking advantage of consumers to commit Medicare ID card fraud, including identity theft and creating fraudulent claims.1 Know what to look for to protect yourself and your identity.

Did Medicare mail new cards to enrollees?

Yes, CMS mailed new Medicare ID cards around April 2019. The old Medicare ID cards were replaced with a new ID card and number. Instead of your Social Security number, the new card has an 11-digit “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI)” composed of both letters and numerals.

One of the benefits of the new card is that you won’t expose your Social Security number to your healthcare providers—or anyone who may be looking over your shoulder at the contents of your wallet.

Are Medicare ID Cards free?

Yes, Medicare ID cards are free. All Medicare enrollees will automatically receive a card in the mail at no charge. To make sure that your address is up to date, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or (800) 772-1213.

What are some Medicare scams to look out for?

Scammers are out for two things: your money and/or your identification. Here are a few common tactics to look out for: 1

  • Asking for your Social Security number, bank account number, or credit care information
    • As an exception, the Extra Help program may call to confirm your application information.
  • Asking for payment rather than sending you a bill from your plan
  • Coming to your home uninvited to encourage you to purchase a Medicare related plan
  • Offering you a financial incentive or reward, like cash or free meals, to join their plan
  • Claiming that you need to purchase a Medicare Part D plan, or will automatically be enrolled, unless you call or interact with them

How do you know whether it’s Medicare ID Card fraud?

The main thing to remember is that Medicare will not contact you by phone or email. The only exceptions are if:

  • You have called Medicare directly and have requested a call back.
  • The Medicare health or drug plans you are already enrolled in contact you.
  • The insurance agent who helped you join a Medicare plan contacts

How to Protect Your Medicare Identity

To prevent Medicare ID card fraud from happening to you, only give out your Medicare or Social Security identification to your healthcare providers, current insurance companies, or organizations that work with Medicare, such as your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

If you aren’t sure whether an email or phone call is legitimate, make sure you do not give out any personal information the sender or caller could use to access your banking or healthcare accounts. And if you receive a suspicious call asking for your Medicare identification, call Medicare at 1-800 MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

For more information about Medicare ID card fraud, you can visit the Medicare fraud website.

Need More Help With Medicare?

HealthMarkets can help you find the right Medicare plan for your needs and budget, and our services come at no cost to you. We have more than 3,000 licensed insurance agents who can assist you with your Medicare options and answer any questions. Call (800) 488-7621 for an agent near you.

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References

1. Protecting Yourself & Medicare from Fraud. CMS. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/10111-Protecting-Yourself-and-Medicare.pdf. Accessed on November 8, 2021.

 

Disclaimer: This advertisement contains content compiled by HealthMarkets for informational purposes only. HealthMarkets does not represent that these are statements of fact. If you suspect that you are a victim of Medicare fraud, contact the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services directly at 1-800-MEDICARE.

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