As people across the country receive new, safer Medicare cards in the mail, advocates are warning about fraudulent callers who try to dupe people into paying money or divulging personal information.
The government is gradually replacing Medicare cards for the 60 million people covered by the federal health plan. Previously, the cards used the recipient’s Social Security number as his or her Medicare number, which posed a risk of identity theft. Congress mandated a change in 2015.
“It took a very long time, but it’s in the works,” Sue Greeno of the nonprofit Center for Medicare Advocacy said.
The new cards use an 11-character Medicare identifier that contains both numbers and letters, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that runs Medicare.