FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
7/11/2018
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Tracy Imm, 410-468-2206

Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr. Warns that Medicare Card Changes Could Trigger Scams

Scammers are taking advantage of the transition period from old Medicare cards to new ones

BALTIMORE - In April, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began mailing new, more secure cards to Medicare beneficiaries. Beneficiaries do not need to do anything to get new cards, and they are being mailed at no cost to the recipient. If you receive Medicare, your benefits will not change with your new card.

“The new Medicare cards are more secure to use compared to the old cards that displayed the beneficiary’s Social Security number,” said Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr.  “While the new cards do not have Social Security numbers, scammers may use this transition period to try to steal your personal information. So once receiving your new card it is very important that you destroy your old one.”

Medicare beneficiaries should know the following:

  • You do not need to pay for a new Medicare card. If anyone claiming to represent Medicare, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), or the government tries to charge you for your card, it is a scam. NEVER give your Social Security number, bank account or credit card information. Do not send cash to anyone who says it is required to get your Medicare card.
  • Do not give your Medicare number to people you do not know or have not contacted first. Some scammers call pretending to be from the CMS or Medicare. However, these organizations will NEVER require your personal information in exchange for your Medicare card. Only share your Medicare number with doctors or trusted people who work with Medicare, such as your State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) office. Do not let strangers help complete applications or forms that include personal information.
  • Do not give financial information to people you do not know. It is a scam if someone asks for your bank account or credit card information or promises to deposit a rebate or bonus into your account.
  • Do not believe anyone who tells you that your Medicare will be canceled unless you give them your Medicare number. If someone asks for your Medicare number and threatens to cancel your health benefits if you do not provide it, hang up! If you receive a suspicious call, contact 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY: 1-877-486-2048).
  • Destroy your old Medicare card. Once you receive your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card by shredding or cutting it into pieces, and start using the new one right away.
For More Information
 
You can find more information about the new Medicare cards at Medicare.gov.
 
About the Maryland Insurance Administration

The Maryland Insurance Administration is an independent State agency charged with regulating Maryland’s $28.5 billion insurance industry. For more information about the Insurance Administration, please visit www.insurance.maryland.gov or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin or Twitter at @MD_Insurance.
 
###