Beware this Medicare Fraud Scheme

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced last year that all Medicare ID numbers will transition from Social Security numbers to unique, randomly generated member IDs.

This is a great idea that what will help prevent Medicare fraud and identity theft.  Your coverage will not change or have any interruptions, and the new card is free.  The only difference is that your social security number and gender will not be displayed on the card.

Sample Medicare card from CMS

Credit: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

The deadline for the transition is April 2019, and CMS will start mailing out new cards in April of this year. According to a bulletin posted by CMS, Illinois residents will receive their new cards sometime after June 2018.

In the meantime, watch out for enterprising scammers who will try to cash in on the lack of awareness surrounding the transition.

These thieves may contact you about your new card, pretending to be from Medicare. They might try to get your information by claiming they need to “confirm” your Social Security number in order to send you a new card.

They may also try other schemes, such as claiming you need to pay for the new card, or warning you that your insurance will be cancelled unless you confirm your personal information.

Protect yourself by keeping these facts in mind:

  • Medicare will NOT call you about your new card. Your card will be mailed to you automatically; no confirmation necessary.
  • The card has NO charge attached to it.
  • Medicare will only call you if you called 1-800-MEDICARE and left a message, or spoke to an agent who said someone would return your call.

To learn more about insurance fraud and identify theft, visit