Indiana Department of Insurance warns Hoosiers to beware Medicare card changes could trigger scams
Indianapolis – In June, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began mailing new, more secure cards to Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana. Beneficiaries do not need to do anything to get new cards, and they are being mailed at no cost to the recipient. If you receive Medicare, your benefits will not change with your new card.
The new cards are much more secure to use. The old cards displayed the beneficiary’s Social Security number (SSN). Identity thieves frequently use SSNs to steal identities, open credit cards or take out loans in someone else’s name. While the new cards do not have SSNs, scammers may use this transition period to try to steal your personal information.
The Indiana Department of Insurance provides the following information for Medicare beneficiaries:
- You do not need to pay for a new Medicare card. If anyone claiming to represent Medicare, the CMS or the government tries to charge you for your card, it is a scam. NEVER give your SSN, bank or credit card information, or send cash to anyone who says it is required to get your Medicare card.
- Do not give your Medicare number to people you do not know or have not contacted first. Some scammers call pretending to be from the CMS or Medicare. However, these organizations will NEVER require your personal information in exchange for your Medicare card. Only share your Medicare number with your doctors or Medicare personnel that you contacted directly. Do not let strangers help complete applications or forms that include personal information.
- Do not give financial information to people you do not know. If someone asks for bank or credit card information, promising to deposit a rebate or bonus into your account because of your new Medicare card, that is a scam.
- Do not believe anyone who tells you that your Medicare will be canceled unless you give them your Medicare number. If someone asks for your Medicare number and threatens to cancel your health benefits if you do not provide it, hang up! If you receive a suspicious call, contact 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY: 1-877-486-2048).
- Destroy your old Medicare card. Once you receive your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card by shredding or cutting it into pieces, and start using the new one right away.
You can find more information about the new Medicare cards at Medicare.gov.
The Indiana Department of Insurance State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), a free and impartial counseling program, answers questions about Medicare from Hoosiers. If you suspect Medicare fraud, contact Indiana’s Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 317-205-9201 or contact SHIP for assistance.
If you have questions about Medicare or your new Medicare cards, call SHIP at 1-800-452-4800, 1-866-846-0139 TDD or online at www.medicare.in.gov.
About Indiana Department of Insurance
The Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI) protects Indiana’s insurance consumers by monitoring and regulating the financial strengths and market conduct activities of insurance companies and agents. The IDOI monitors insurance companies and agents for compliance with state laws to protect consumers and to offer them the best array of insurance products available. The IDOI also assists Hoosiers with insurance questions and provides guidance in understanding how insurance policies work.