If you are an individual who focuses on personal data security, one of the most surprising things you discover when it’s time to offer support to aging parents is that Social Security numbers appear right on the front of the Medicare card. Americans are told not to carry their Social Security cards around, but once they begin receiving Medicare benefits, their Social Security numbers are printed on a different card.
The good news is that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be sending updated and more secure cards, issuing them between beginning April 2018 and April 2019. Each new Medicare card will have a unique, randomly assigned identification number that has no connection to a Social Security number. A new Medicare number will cut down on fraud and fight identity theft. CMS will begin mailing about 60 million new cards in April 2018 and will take a year to get them all mailed. No beneficiary needs to do or pay anything for a new card — it will arrive in the mail. Continue reading