Residents of Alabama, as well as four other Southern states, will begin receiving new Medicare cards this month.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services say everyone with Medicare in Alabama should receive the new card by the end of September.
The new card replaces the bearer’s Social Security number with what officials say is a randomly-assigned Medicare number. This feature is supposed to cut down on fraud and identity theft.
Angela Brice-Smith, regional administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said the changes will also safeguard taxpayer dollars “by making it harder for criminals to use Social Security numbers to falsely bill Medicare for care services and benefits that were never performed.”
Medicare users in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are also getting their new cards over the next month. The new card will not change any of the program benefits and services that eligible people enrolled in Medicare receive.
People with Medicare will not have to do anything to receive the card, officials said, as the new one will arrive by mail. The new card can be used immediately.
The cards are free and no one will not call to ask for any personal information on the phone. The new Medicare number should only be given to doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers, insurers, or people the user trusts to work with Medicare on their behalf.
As soon as the new card arrives, users should safely and securely destroy their old Medicare card and keep their new Medicare number confidential.
Original Article Posted on AL.com, August 22, 2018
Original Article By William Thornton