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Happy National Consumer Protection Week! Now’s a great time to brush up on your Medicare rights and protections, and take action to protect your identity.
Identity theft: protect yourself
Identity theft is a serious crime that happens when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit fraud or other crimes.
Personal information includes things like your name and your Social Security, Medicare, or credit card numbers.
Guard your card and protect your personal information
- To help protect your identity, Medicare is mailing new Medicare cards. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number.
- Don’t share your Medicare Number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by phone, email, or by approaching you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance.
- Medicare, or someone representing Medicare, will only call and ask for personal information in these situations:
- A Medicare health or drug plan can call you if you’re already a member of the plan. The agent who helped you join can also call you.
- A customer service representative from 1-800-MEDICARE can call you if you’ve called and left a message or a representative said that someone would call you back.
- Only give personal information like your Medicare Number to doctors, insurers acting on your behalf, or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
- Be familiar with how Medicare uses your personal information. If you join a Medicare plan, the plan will let you know how it will use your personal information.
If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare Number or other personal information, hang up and call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
If you suspect identity theft or feel like you gave your personal information to someone you shouldn’t have, contact the Federal Trade Commission.
Help fight Medicare fraud
Medicare fraud wastes a lot of money each year and results in higher health care costs and taxes for everyone. There are con artists who may try to get your Medicare Number or personal information so they can steal your identity and commit Medicare fraud.
Guard your Medicare card like it’s a credit card. Give your Medicare Number only to people you know should have it. Medicare, or someone representing Medicare, will never contact you for your Medicare Number or other personal information unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Learn more about the limited situations in which Medicare can call you.
New Medicare cards
To help protect against identity theft, Medicare has mailed new Medicare cards to people with Medicare. Your new card has a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number.
- Learn more about your Medicare card
- Learn how to protect your Medicare Number and other personal information
Spot and report Medicare billing fraud
Protect yourself and Medicare against fraud by reviewing your Medicare claims for errors, looking for other types of fraud, and reporting anything suspicious to Medicare.
Protect yourself, your loved ones, and Medicare from fraud
- Find out what you need to know if you’re in, or thinking about joining, a Medicare health or drug plan
- Learn more about protecting yourself from fraud by contacting your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). Find the SMP in your state.
Your Medicare rights
No matter how you get your Medicare, you have certain rights and protections designed to:
- Protect you when you get health care.
- Make sure you get the health care services that the law says you can get.
- Protect you against unethical practices.
- Protect your privacy.
Details about your rights in Medicare
- Rights & protections for everyone with Medicare
- Your rights in Original Medicare
- Your rights in a Medicare Advantage Plan or other Medicare health plan
- Your rights in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan (MA-PD)
- Get help with your rights & protections
- Your right to access your personal health information