BBB Bureau Briefs: Medicare Cards

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Officials with the Better Business Bureau joined us on Monday for our weekly BBB Bureau Briefs segment.

New Medicare cards are coming soon. Here's what you need to know about your new card. Plus, how to avoid related scams.

Starting in April 2018, Medicare will begin mailing new cards to everyone who gets Medicare benefits. Why? To help protect your identity, Medicare is removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.

Instead, the new cards will have a unique Medicare Number. This will happen automatically. You don't need to do anything or pay anyone to get your new card.

The cards will be mailed in waves, to various parts of the country, from April 2018 until April 2019. When you get your new card, be sure to destroy your old card.

Don't just toss it in the trash. Shred it. As the new Medicare cards start being mailed, be on the lookout for Medicare scams. Here are some tips:

· Don't pay for your new card. It's yours for free. If anyone calls and says you need to pay for it, that's a scam.

· Don't give personal information to get your card. If someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, asking for your Social Security number or bank information, that's a scam. Hang up. Medicare will never ask you to give personal information to get your new number and card.

· Guard your card. When you get your new card, safeguard it like you would any other health insurance or credit card. While removing the Social Security number cuts down on many types of identity theft, you'll still want to protect your new card because identity thieves could use it to get medical services.

For more information about these changes go to www.medicare.gov/newcard and if you are a victim of a scam report it to BBB online at www.bbb.org/scamtracker.

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