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FTC Warns Seniors of Medicare Fraud Scam

WASHINGTON DC - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns seniors to hang up if they receive calls from individuals claiming to be from Medicare and asking for Social Security or bank information.

New Medicare cards will be mailed out automatically, starting April of 2018, and are free to all 57 million Americans on Medicare, the FTC has reminded seniors in response to a new wave of scams related to the update.

The new cards—required under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015—will assign each beneficiary a unique, randomly assigned number, known as a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), which replaces the current Social Security Number–based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN).

The purpose of the change is to reduce identity theft.

In order to take advantage of misinformation and confusion among seniors during the transition, scammers are calling seniors and telling them that they must pay for their new Medicare card. According to a Reuters news service report, the senior that filed the complaint was asked for checking account information and Medicare card numbers.

The FTC has verified this report and tells beneficiaries that if someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, and asking for your Social Security number or bank information, hang up immediately.

Contact GeorgiaCares at 1-866-552-4464, option #4, or Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 for more information about healthcare scams.

Submitted 11.22.17