In the bill passed by Congress and signed by the President to increase the pay for doctors caring for Medicare patients, there is a provision that will remove a seniors Social Security number from their Medicare card.
Senior advocates had protested the practice of listing the number so often used for personal identification. The Social Security Administration also advised against this practice.
The Congress has allocated $320 million to fund the transition.
“Concerned about the rising prevalence and sophistication of identity theft, most private health insurance companies have abandoned the use of Social Security numbers to identify individuals,” reported New York Times’ Robert Pear. “The federal government even forbids private insurers to use the numbers on insurance cards when they provide medical or drug benefits under contract with Medicare.”
Protect yourself from identity theft
When someone steals your identity, they can use your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes. Personal information includes your name, Social Security, Medicare, credit card, or bank account numbers. Guard your cards, and keep your information safe.
If you suspect identity theft, or think you gave your personal information to someone you shouldn’t have, call the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Hotline at 1 877 438 4338. TTY users should call 1-866-653-4261. Visit consumer.gov/idtheft to learn more about identity theft.
If you’re in danger (for example, if someone is pressuring or intimidating you), call your local police department immediately.
Note: If your Medicare or Social Security card is lost or stolen, or if you need a new card, visit socialsecurity.gov, or call Social Security at1 800 772 1213.
TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778. If you get benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, visit rrb.gov, or call 1 877 772 5772.