Medicare Fix Bill Requires Removing SSNs from Medicare Cards

Concerned about the rising prevalence and sophistication of identity theft, most private health insurance companies have abandoned the use of Social Security numbers to identify individuals. But Medicare itself has continued the practice, imprinting Social Security numbers on more than 50 million benefit cards despite years of warnings from government watchdogs that it placed millions of people at risk for financial losses from identity theft. One section of the Medicare “fix” legislation signed last week says Social Security account numbers must not be “displayed, coded or embedded on the Medicare card.” Obama requested $50 million as a down payment “to support the removal of Social Security numbers from Medicare cards” — a step that federal auditors and investigators had been recommending for more than a decade. Read the rest here.

Source: New York Times

David Wingate is an elder law attorney practicing in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland. The practice consists of wills, powers of attorneys, trusts, asset protection and Medicaid.

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