Starting in April 2018, seniors who have Medicare will be getting new insurance cards. Don’t toss these cards out thinking they’re a hoax. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services completely redesigned the look of the cards. A 2015 law requires the change.
A current Medicare card has the person’s name, claim number, gender, signature, and coverage information. The problem is that the claim number on a Medicare card is a person’s Social Security number. As the law requires Medicare to issue 11-digit identifiers, computers will be randomly generating the mix of numbers and letters and issuing new cards to millions of people.
Purpose for the Redesign
For years, people have been upset that such a vital piece of information was being put on the front of a card that could end up in the wrong hands. Seniors have to trust that the workers in a medical office or hospital setting were not going to take the SSN and use it for fraudulent purposes.
That’s not the only risk. If mail containing a card is stolen or a purse or wallet is stolen, the SSN on the card is right there. Many felt that this was irresponsible and wanted Medicare to revamp the system.
The new cards start going out in April 2018, but it will take a year before everyone has their new card. Make sure your parent is watching the mail carefully for its arrival so that it doesn’t get tossed out accidentally.
What Should Your Parent Do Until the New Cards are Issued
AARP recommends that seniors carry a photocopy of their Medicare card. Before making the copy, put a small Post-It note over the last portion of the Social Security number to keep it from showing up. Use that at appointments.
Does Your Dad Have the Help He Needs?
Avoiding identity theft and fraud take time and thought. Elderly are susceptible to scams and fraud via the mail, phone, computer, and door-to-door cons. If you worry about your dad becoming a victim, it’s better to get him educated on the many ways scams can happen, including through the theft of his SSN.
Many seniors become victims because they’re lonely. Hire caregivers to make sure your dad has the companionship he needs. Caregivers are there to keep him company and help him complete daily activities. Learn more by talking to home care professionals today.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregivers in Cherry Hill, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
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