BISMARCK, N.D. – Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread today alerted North Dakota Medicare beneficiaries that they will be receiving new Medicare cards from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in an effort to better protect their safety and security. Godfread also offered tips on how to prevent fraud as the new cards are distributed.
“The changes made to the new cards not only protect Medicare beneficiaries from fraud, but also safeguard taxpayer dollars by making it harder for criminals to use Social Security numbers to falsely bill Medicare for services and benefits that were never performed,” Godfread said. “There are no fees for receiving the new card and there is no reason for anyone to call beneficiaries over the phone to verify any information. The Department is also prepared to answer questions about the new cards.”
The new Medicare card no longer contains a beneficiary’s Social Security number, but rather a unique, randomly assigned Medicare number. The new card will not change any of the program benefits and services that eligible beneficiaries already receive.
CMS recently began mailing the new Medicare cards to individuals new to Medicare and to those who already have Medicare benefits in North Dakota.
Transitions like this can be prime opportunities for individuals to be taken advantage of by scammers. North Dakota beneficiaries should:
- Never provide a Medicare number or other personal information over the phone.
- Never pay for a new Medicare card.
- Safeguard their card as if it were a credit card.
- Destroy their old card once the new one has been received.
- Be sure to keep their Medicare Advantage card.
- Provide their new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, insurers, or those trusted to work with Medicare on their behalf.
The North Dakota State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) program provides free and confidential assistance to North Dakotans through trained, volunteer counselors. Counselors are trained in all aspects of senior insurance issues, such as Medicare, Medicare part D and Medicare Advantage Plans.