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why does medicare use social security numbers

According to Medicare. gov, identify theft is a serious crime that occurs when someone takes your personal information without your permission, in order to commit fraud or other crimes. Personal information might include things like your name, credit card number, or your Social Security number, or SSN. The Office of the Inspector General reports that President Obama signed a bill in 2015 to protect seniors from identify theft by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to give out new Medicare cards that don t display a person s SSN. According to the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services, the initiative, called the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI), is set to go into effect in 2019. Read more about the new Medicare card in the article below. According to, about 4,500 people sign up for Medicare every day, so this will new law will affect many people. Why does Medicare use the Social Security number? For a bit of background, the Medicare program was enacted in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Currently, Medicare uses the name and address you have on file with Social Security to supply the information on your Medicare card. Here s a little history about the Social Security number. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Social Security number (SSN) was created in 1936 in response to the passage of the Social Security Act in 1935.

Originally, the number was used solely as a way to track the wages of American workers for the purpose of computing Social Security benefits under the law. Now, the simplicity and ease of use of the SSN is why it s commonly used across government agencies and private businesses. According to the Social Security Administration, a task force was created in 2006 to investigate identity theft. Because about 42 million Medicare cards display the full Social Security number (SSN), authorities feared that beneficiaries would be vulnerable to identity theft. Federal agencies have been recommending removal of the SSN for a number of years, and now the Department of Health and Human Services has until 2019 to issue new modernized Medicare cards to new beneficiaries and give out the new cards to those who already have existing Medicare cards. How will thePnew Medicare cardPwork? The Center for Medicare Medicaid Services (CMS) projects about 74 million people will be enrolled in the program by 2025. It will be a monumental task to develop a new Medicare identifier and issue new cardsPto all Medicare beneficiaries, but the law, which was passed in 2015, gave CMS four years to accomplish it. The first step will be to implement the new identification number andPnew Medicare cardPwith the non-Social Security number identifier for new enrollees.

From there, CMS must issue aPnew Medicare cardPto every current enrollee by April 2019. ThePnew Medicare cardPwill work exactly like the old one, but will safeguard private information of interest to identity thieves. If you are currently enrolled in Medicare, you ll receive information directly from CMS about when to expect yourPnew Medicare card. What happens if your Medicare card is stolen or lost? If your, or damaged, please ask
about a new one. You should expect a new Medicare card within 30 days of your request; Social Security will mail the new card to your address on file. If you need your Medicare card sooner, please request a letter (as proof you have Medicare) from Social Security; the letter should arrive in around 10 days. And if you need proof immediately, please visit your. Do you have questions about Medicare plan options and/or your Medicare card? I ll be happy to talk with you and provide answers. You can request a phone call at your convenience, or get an email with information just for you by clicking the appropriate link below. You can find out more about me by clicking on the View profile link below. To see a list of plans in your area you may qualify for, click on the Compare Plans button.

You can also get information right away by calling me or another licensed insurance agent at 1-844-847-2660 (TTY users 711) Monday through Friday, 8AM to 8PM ET. For more information about the new Medicare card and how to protect yourself from identify theft, please see: Office of the Inspector General, Beyond the Numbers, last modified April 29, 2015, Medicare. gov, Identity theft: protect yourself, last accessed September 16, 2016, We're removing Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards. A new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status. You can find more details in our , and latest. Also, you can see. We currently use an SSN-based HICN to identify people with Medicare and administer the program. We ve used the HICN with our business partners: The The Under the new system, for each person enrolled in Medicare, we ll: Assign a new MBI. Mail a new Medicare card. The MBI is confidential like the SSN and should be protected as Personally Identifiable Information. Why are the new Medicare cards important? The biggest reason we're taking the SSN off of Medicare cards is to fight medical identity theft for people with Medicare.

By replacing the SSN-based HICN on all Medicare cards, we can better protect: Private health care and financial information. Federal health care benefit and service payments. We've often heard from Congress, the General Accountability Office, people with Medicare, and advocacy groups that they want the SSN taken off Medicare cards. What s the timeline for the new Medicare cards what does it mean for me? We're mailing the new Medicare cards with the MBI to all people with Medicare in phases by geographic location. The change to MBIs won t change how we find non-active Medicare beneficiaries. The MBI and the HICN don t tell us which beneficiaries are non-active, so we ll keep using the data that does give us that information. Learn, in or, what you need to do now and see a of what s next. Will there be testing for systems that use the MBI? We re testing systems that ll use the MBI, including enhanced integration testing (EIT) for new or high risk systems. We re not offering end-to-end testing with Medicare fee-for-service claims processing systems because you ll be able to use either HICNs or MBIs to submit claims during the. You can use the transition period as a live test and make adjustments as necessary, yet still have claims submitted and processed with HICNs until the ends. How will the MBI look?

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