Fernandina Beach police offer tips to avoid Medicare scams

New cards coming by April 2019

By Michelle Ganley - Graham Media Group

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - Did you know? By April 2019, Medicare cards will no longer show Social Security numbers, the Fernandina Beach Police Department said Monday.

“Instead, your card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claim status,” the department posted on its Facebook page. “And it will all happen automatically -- you won't have to pay anyone or give anyone information, no matter what someone might tell you.”

With that in mind, officers provided three simple ways to avoid Medicare scams.

  1. Hang up if someone calls, claiming to be from Medicare, asking for a Social Security number or any bank information. Medicare won’t call you and ask these questions.
  2. Don’t pay for anything if you’re asked to fork over money for a new card. The new card is free.
  3. Ignore it if anyone calls, threatening to cancel your benefits if you don’t give up information or money. New Medicare cards will be mailed out to you automatically. There won't be any changes to your benefits.

Having your Social Security number removed from your Medicare card helps fight medical identity theft and protect your medical and financial information.

But even with these changes, police said, scammers will still look for ways to take what doesn't belong to them.
For more on the new changes to your Medicare card, visit Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Scams may be reported to the FTC at this website.

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