A consumer’s social security number is the number one target of Identity Thieves. Once a social security number is compromised, you can’t just order a new one.
Medicare uses the consumers full Social Security Number as their account number. The use of a Social Security Number as an account number increases the risk of Identity Theft to seniors. Many seniors use their Medicare cards on a regular basis and each time they do, they release their full Social Security Number.
President Obama recently signed legislation that will phase out the use of Social Security Numbers on Medicare cards. Seniors, by nature, are at high risk of falling victim to fraud. “The Social Security number is the key to identity theft, and thieves are having a field day with seniors’ Medicare cards,” said Representative Sam Johnson, Republican of Texas. Any step to protect our seniors’ personal information is well worth the effort.
This Medicare change will not happen overnight. Medicare has four years to stop using Social Security Numbers as the identifiers on Medicare cards. Seniors would be well advised to only provide their Medicare cards to health providers they trust.