Asbury Park Press

New Medicare Cards Coming, And Here's How They'll Help You Fight Fraud

Asbury Park Press — March 9, 2018

By David P. Willis

New Medicare cards will soon hit the mailboxes of senior citizens across New Jersey.

What's new? Medicare has removed Social Security numbers from the cards, replacing them with a unique Medicare number. It won't contain a gender or signature either.

"Hopefully these cards will make it harder for thieves to steal anybody's identity and that's a good thing," said Evelyn Liebman, associate state director of New Jersey AARP. "These new cards really are an effort to protect beneficiaries from identity theft, from fraud."

Medicare is expected to start to send the cards to New Jersey seniors after June, Liebman said.

It's a good time to remind senior citizens that the cards are coming. Children with elderly parents and other caregivers should talk about it with their loved ones too.

"It's a good thing for security," said Maura Collinsgru, health care program director at New Jersey Citizen Action, a consumer group. "It requires education and a lot of good information to be put out there so people don't become alarmed and don't become overwhelmed with the changes."

You should starting using the new card after you get it. Shred and destroy your old card when you get the new one, AARP's Leibman said.

If you have a separate Medicare Advantage card, you'll still need to keep that one for treatment, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

But like everything else, scammers are expected to try to take advantage of the switch. Watch the video at the top of this story to learn more about Medicare identity scams. Here are some important things to remember.

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