Insurance Commission Causey warns of Medicare scams

Published 3:55 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018

North Carolina Department of Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey warns Medicare recipients to be on alert for scams.

Beginning in April 2018 and running through April 2019, old Medicare cards will be replaced with ones that no longer show Social Security numbers. Instead, cards will have a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and to check eligibility and claim status.

“This will happen automatically,” said Commissioner Causey. “Recipients won’t have to pay anyone or provide additional information to anyone who may threaten to remove Medicare benefits unless they comply,” he warned.

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Having Social Security numbers removed from Medicare cards helps fight medical identity theft and protect medical and financial information. Recently, however, the Department has been informed of Medicare recipients who have received phone calls from people asking for personal information as they wait for their new cards to arrive.

Listed below are ways people may try to scam you:

*Is someone calling, claiming to be from Medicare, and asking for your Social Security number or bank information? Hang up. That’s a scam. First, Medicare won’t call you. Second, Medicare will never ask for your Social Security number or bank information.

*Is someone asking you to pay for your new card? That’s a scam. Your new Medicare card is free.

*Is someone threatening to cancel your benefits if you don’t give up information or money? This is also a scam. New Medicare cards will be mailed out to you automatically. There won’t be any changes to your benefits.

Family members, husbands and wives, may get cards in different months. Do not be alarmed if your spouse gets his/her card and yours does not come. It will come at a later date.

For more information on Medicare fraud, contact the Department’s Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) at 1-855-408-1212.