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Scam Alert!

RALEIGH – North Carolina Department of Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is putting Medicare recipients on alert for the possibility of scams in lieu of a changeover with subscriber cards.

Causey said that beginning next month 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.”

Having Social Security numbers removed from Medicare cards helps fight medical identity theft and protect medical and financial information.

Recently, however, the Causey’s office 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 Medicare recipients:

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.

Causey also advised that family members, husbands and wives, may get their new cards in different months. He said do not be alarmed if this happens. The new cards will arrive.

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