Common Medicare Scams

Common Medicare Scams

Despite the best efforts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, recipients of both programs are frequently the targets of various identity theft schemes.

Beginning April 2018 CMS began one such effort, mailing new Medicare cards with a unique Medicare number instead of a recipients’ Social Security Number.

However, “scammers” have already begun targeting this new program.

Some of the most common attempts involve constructing an obstacle preventing the recipient from receiving their new Medicare card.

There is no fee for receiving the new card and a current card can be used until December 31, 2019.

There have been reports of faux Medicare representatives asking for immediate payments before a new card will be issued, requesting orders of temporary cards until the new can be issued, asserting a new card will not be issued until the old is mailed to a certain address, or claiming the new card has been issued but lost.

It is important to remember this process is being undertaken to protect recipients’ personal information. Medicare representatives will not call asking for payment or personal information.

The only way to verify your information on file is to contact the Social Security Administration by calling 1-800-772-1213, logging on to socialsecurity.gov/myaccount, or visiting a local Social Security Office.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services do not expect all new cards to be issued until April 2019 so there is no cause for worry if you or a loved one have not received theirs yet.

The most effective protection against many of these schemes is awareness.

The simplest way to prevent a loved one from becoming a victim is making them aware they could potentially be a target and the warning signs they can look for.

To avoid potential problems it is always a good idea to go over the estate plans of you and your loved ones with a qualified attorney.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.