New Medicare Cards, New Security…and New Scams
Roll-out of the new Medicare Identification Cards–the ones without Social Security Numbers–begins in April and will continue throughout the coming year. As you are most likely aware, the format changes were mandated by the passing of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in 2015, part of which called for removing Social Security numbers from the cards and replacing it with a new 11-digit Medicare Number. That’s a good thing, but it doesn’t mean the end to the scams and fraud activities that have plagued Medicare for years.
As explained in a post today on www.whec.com, the scammers have quickly adapted to this format change, and have shifted their nefarious focus to these types of fraudulent activities:
- Contacting enrollees and demanding immediate payment via credit card of a processing fee for the new card. There actually is no such fee.
- In other cases, scammers say that Medicare needs to “verify” a recipient’s Social Security number or other personal information before issuing the card.
- Another version tells beneficiaries they are due a refund in premiums or drug costs, and asks them to provide bank account information for the processing of the alleged refund.
According to a recent post on abcnews.go.com, “more than 10 percent of Medicare’s total budget, was lost to fraud, waste, abuse and improper payments.”