Medicare Card Scam
Temporary Medicare Card Scam
Although you may not be enrolled in Medicare, you may have family members, neighbors or employees who are, and this is important information that should be shared with them.
Medicare is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Due to concerns about ID theft, CMS is mailing to all Medicare recipients a new Medicare ID card. This has been a year-long project to hopefully deter ID theft of Social Security numbers (SSNs). Despite the headlines of major companies who have had data breaches, many of the ID thefts have originated in the medical industry (e.g., doctors’ offices, hospitals). To help combat ID theft, an important step is the replacement of Medicare cards which currently showed the individual’s SSN. The new cards will have a combination of numbers and letters, be unique to each recipient, and will only be used for Medicare ID purposes.
Somebody from “MEDICARE ” will call to tell you that you are getting a new Medicare card. But until it comes, you will need a temporary card. The fee for the temporary card is usually quoted as being between $5 to $50. The scammer will want your personal information, bank account or credit card so they can process your temporary card.
It is important to understand that CMS will not be issuing any temporary Medicare cards. If you receive such a call, immediately hang up.
The new cards are being mailed between April 2018 and April 2019. Accordingly, be sure that the SSA has your current mailing address. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or call 1-800-772-1213. Do not be concerned if your neighbor or family member has already received his/her card. There are millions of the new cards being mailed and it will take quite a while to replace all of the cards.
The old Medicare cards will remain active until Dec. 31, 2019.
When your new Medicare card arrives, do not simply discard your old card. Shred the old card. You can find shredders near you by Googling “shredders near me”. Staples is one company that offers shredding services at its stores.
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About F. Bryan Haarlander, EA, CTRS:
Bryan Haarlander is an IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and who owns and operates a specialized tax services firm serving clients in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, which includes the cities of Chester Springs, Coatesville, Collegeville, Devon, Downingtown, Exton, Frazer, King of Prussia, Paoli, Philadelphia, Phoenixville, Pottstown, Radnor, Reading, Wayne, West Chester in Berks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, as well as clients in Delaware, New Jersey, New York and throughout the continental USA.
A Certified Tax Resolution Specialist, Bryan is well-known for his IRS tax resolution expertise and his book How to Resolve Your IRS Tax Debt Problems.