In 2018 Medicare took action to make Medicare cards safer by replacing Social Security Numbers with more secure ID numbers. But even with those efforts, fraudsters still take advantage of Medicare recipients. The Illinois Department on aging is again warning Medicare recipients about Medicare fraud. Scammers call with a story about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issuing more permanent plastic coverage cards, and asking card holders to confirm their ID number – this is false. New plastic cards are not being issued. You should not share any personal information – and with all phone calls asking for personal information the safest thing to do is hang up. Medicare will NEVER call you for personal information over the phone.
Help from Illinois Senior Medicare Patrol Resources
Illinois has a Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program https://www.ageoptions.org/illinois-senior-medicare-patrol/ which empowers consumers to prevent healthcare fraud. With volunteers and program staff, they help people with Medicare and Medicaid to prevent, detect, and report Medicare & Medicaid fraud, waste, and abuse. The Illinois SMP is headquartered at AgeOptions, the Area Agency on Aging of Suburban Cook County, and works with several other agencies to provide information about healthcare fraud across Illinois.
If you live outside of Illinois, visit https://www.smpresource.org/Locator/Default.aspx to find the SMP in your state.