Via the Rutland (VT) Herald:
Officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are mailing new Medicare cards, that remove Social Security numbers, to protect the safety and security of cardholders. The new Medicare cards contain a unique, randomly assigned Medicare number that protects the identities of people with Medicare, reduces fraud and offers better safeguards of important health and financial information. “This change not only protects Medicare patients from fraud, but also safeguards taxpayer dollars by making it harder for criminals to use Social Security numbers to falsely bill Medicare for care services and benefits that were never performed,” Ray Hurd, regional administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, said in a statement Monday. As soon as people receive their new Medicare cards, they should destroy their old Medicare cards and keep their new Medicare numbers confidential. All Medicare recipients should receive their new cards over the next year. The new Medicare card will not change any of the program benefits and services that eligible people enrolled in Medicare receive. People with Medicare and their caregivers can visit medicare.gov/newcard to find out when new Medicare cards will be mailed to their area.