If you have Medicare, you can protect your identity and help prevent health care fraud by guarding your Medicare card like you would a credit card. Identity theft from stolen Medicare numbers is becoming more common. Medicare helped by removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and replacing them with a new, unique number for each person with Medicare. This decreases your vulnerability to medical and/or identity theft.
Tips for Protecting Yourself
Here are some important steps you can take to protect yourself from the identity theft that can lead to health care fraud:
- Don’t share or confirm your Medicare or Social Security number with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email, or in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Medicare will NEVER contact you (unless you ask them to) to ask for your Medicare number or other personal information or to send you a new card. Medicare already has your information.
- Don’t ever let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number.
- Review your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) to be sure you and Medicare are only being charged for actual items and services received.
If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information, hang up and call your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP).
How can I replace my Medicare card?
If you need to replace your card because it’s damaged or lost, visit Medicare.gov to log into (or create) a secure Medicare account where you can print an official copy of your Medicare card. If you don’t have an account, visit medicare.gov/account/login to create one. If you need to replace your card because you think that someone else is using your number, call the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) (1-877-808-2468) and 1-800-Medicare.