CMS to eliminate use of SSNs on Medicare cards
Personal identity theft affects a large and growing number of seniors. People age 65 or older are increasingly the victims of this type of crime. So, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is starting a fraud prevention initiative that removes Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards. This will help fight identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars.
You’ll get a new Medicare card and number
Between April 2018 and April 2019, CMS is removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and mailing each person a new red, white and blue Medicare card. This will include your new, unique Medicare number. Your new card and Medicare number won’t change your coverage or your Medicare benefits. Once you get the new card, you should destroy your old card and start using the new card right away.
This doesn’t impact your Aetna ID card or number
Your current Aetna ID card will remain the same. You should continue to use your Aetna ID when you go to the doctor. This change is specific to your CMS issued red, white and blue Medicare card only.
How to get ready
You don’t need to do anything to get a new card. But, you should make sure your mailing address is up to date with CMS. You can update your mailing address by visiting www.ssa.gov/myaccount or calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778). This number is an automated telephone service, available 24 hours a day. If you cannot handle your business through the automated services, you can speak to a Social Security representative between 8 AM and 7 PM Monday through Friday.
Protect yourself from scams
Medicare will never call uninvited and ask for your personal or private information to get a new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare Number) by contacting you about your new card. If you are asked for information, for money, or someone threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don't share personal information, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Where to find more information
You can find more information on the CMS site. Please take a minute to familiarize yourself with the upcoming new Medicare card changes.
Here's how you can help
If you're a health care professional working with us:
Collect the patient's member ID number, rather than a Social Security number.
For your own transactions, use your Employer Identification Number (EIN), rather than a Social Security number.
If you're an Aetna member:
Give your member ID number -- not your Social Security number -- when you go to the doctor, dentist or hospital.
If you're an employer working with us:
Work with your Aetna Contact or Account Rep to reduce the transmission of SSNs.