It’s the end of the year and that means new enrollments, and new Medicare cards. The new cards will be issued April 2018 through April 2019. One change includes removing social security numbers to decrease fraud.
“The new number is just going to be a jumbo of numbers it’s not going to have any special meaning the way they use your social security number now. So the reason they are doing it is to protect your identity and to keep you from being a victim of identity theft,” MAPP Counselor, Kitty Glomski said.
Just a few months ago a phone scam was detected in the area.
“Say no or just hang up. Half of these seniors that get phone scammers, they are after their money, anybody that’s after money it’s a scam. You don’t have to be polite; you just hang up the phone,” she advised.
New Medicare cards will be delivered by mail. Glomski said if you’re not sure about your new card visit the center for help.
“If you’re not sure about mailing or receiving you can bring it into the center and I or one of the staff members will take a look at it. Scammers make mail look like official mail but it’s not,” she added.
There are some important tips seniors need to remember when they are issued their new card.
“Shred their old Medicare card. They can start using their new one immediately, but after april 2019 their old card will no longer work,” NEMCSA Coordinator, Susan Bowen said.
Bowen adds seniors may experience a high volume of calls.
“It’s going to look similar and be red, white and blue. It’s not going to be hard plastic but this represents an opportunity for scammers to say, ‘I need you to verify your social security number because we don’t want to send this to the wrong person. We encourage everyone to safe guard their personal information, and never give your social security, your bank information, any of that over the phone or to anyone you’re not sure who you’re speaking with,” Bowen said.