The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have announced a massive change which could play a significant role in lower the number or identities that are stolen every year. It’s a simple change that should have happened years ago. Next spring, Medicare is going to start sending out cards that will have a randomly beneficiary identifier number on them, instead of the Social Security number.
At one time, Social Security numbers were included on health insurance cards and driver’s licenses, but many years ago, the government decided that it was a bad idea to have personal information on display. As the number of identity thefts, every year has continued to rise, Medicare has decided to take some steps to prevent older Americans from falling victim to the thieves and give them an extra layer of protection. They are going to start sending on new Medicare cards next April, and all of the cards will be replaced no longer than April of 2019.
The new cards will not include the Social Security number on them, which means that if an enrollee were to lose their card, the damage would be much more minimal than if the Social Security number is on the card. Currently, an identity thief has all of the information that they will need, and they can wreak havoc on an enrollee’s life if they get a hold of a Medicare card.
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft is probably a term that you’ve heard a lot about from the news. It’s a crime that is popping up more and more, but a lot of people don’t understand what happens or the consequences of having your identity stolen.
Identity theft can be a long and complicated process, but we are going to keep it as short and simple as possible, so you understand exactly what’s going on, and the warning signs of having your identity stolen. Identity theft is when a criminal steals your information and starts making purchases using your name and banking information. There are several ways that they could steal your information, either through credit card statements that you throw away or by hacking into your computer and stealing the information that way.
There are several different types of identity theft, criminal medical, financial, and child identity theft. All of them are illegal and can cause lasting damage to the person that has had their identity stolen. One of the most common types of identity theft is becoming high-tech theft, which is when a criminal is using computers to steal the personal information and use it to apply for loans, buy expensive items or sell it to someone else to use.
Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft
The idea of identity theft can be scary, but there are a few ways that you can protect yourself. Making a few simple changes could protect yourself and your identity.
One of the simplest things that you can do is create strong passwords for all of your accounts, and make sure that you change your passwords frequently. This is one of the most common ways that victims have their identity stolen. Somehow a thief can hack into an account because of a simple password, and using that information, they can steal everything that they need to take the rest of your identity. At that point, you may not even know that your identity is stolen.
Be extremely careful of where you share your information and what you share, especially online. Hackers have gotten amazing at making websites look legitimate or enticing you into opening up an email and entering your information. Before you enter any sensitive information, make sure that you verify the legitimacy of the website or person that you’re giving your information to. Making a view simple Google searches could save you hours of trouble and headaches.
Another easy way for you to protect your identity is to check your credit report every year. You get one free credit report every year, and you should make sure that you use. Checking your credit report will show you any red flags that may have popped up.
The last way that you should protect your identity is to secure all of your financial documents and personal information. More than likely there are dozens and dozens of pieces of paper around your home that have some personal information on it, make sure that you’re keeping track of those and keeping them in a safe place. If you ever have to throw any of those papers away, make sure that you shred them properly. This is an easy way that you can protect yourself against criminals.
Medicare And Identity Theft
The simple change of taking Social Security numbers off of Medicare cards could have an enormous impact on some enrollees that fall victim to identity theft every year. It’s a minor change that could have a significant benefit. You should be getting information about your new card soon.
MedicareWallet.com is an unbiased, online resource for individuals turning 65 or already on Medicare. Our utmost goal is to provide information in a way that is user-focused, informative and ethical. With a combined 40 years of experience in the Medicare market, we can answer any questions about Medicare and Medigap insurance. Feel free to reach out to us at 800.376.0824 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.