Macomb County, MI Caregivers – Medicare ID Cards Still Present ID Theft Risk

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On September 20, 2014, Posted by , In Medicare, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Macomb County, MI Caregivers – Medicare ID Cards Still Present ID Theft Risk

In an era plagued by climbing rates of identity theft and government program fraud, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has yet to issue a formal plan for removing the Social Security numbers from the membership identification cards of millions of beneficiaries, the Associated Press reports.

During a recent hearing in the House of Representatives, Medicare officials stated that they will need an additional six months to figure out how much it would cost to replace the cards of many of their 48.7 million beneficiaries. An earlier estimate put the cost of protecting member’s social security numbers somewhere between $800 and $845 million, but Congressional auditors are now saying that this figure is inaccurate.

Having a senior’s Social Security number displayed on their Medicare ID card (which has to be shown at hospitals and doctor’s offices), puts them at greater risk for identity theft, a point made by members of the President’s Identity Theft Task Force in their 2007 report, “Combating Identity Theft: A Strategic Plan.”

The Social Security number is the skeleton key of identity theft. When used in conjunction with a senior’s birthdate or driver’s license number, it can give a fraudster access to practically anything, from credit cards to bank accounts, to medical records.
Source: agingcare.com

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