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Mena Regional Auxiliary hosts Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)

The Mena Regional Auxiliary recently hosted a Medicare Fraud Prevention Program at MRHS. The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) empowers seniors to prevent healthcare fraud. Dee Edwards, SMP Coordinator and Margie Jones, Assistant, provided attendees with a wealth of information regarding ways to protect themselves from fraudulent activity. Starting April 2018, each person enrolled in Medicare will receive a new Medicare number and a new Medicare card between April 2018 and April 2019. Replacing the number will address the current risk of beneficiary vulnerability to identity theft; and help protect private healthcare and financial information from fraud and abuse; however, your Medicare number will still be beneficial to criminals who want to bill Medicare fraudulently.

Things You Should Know:

  • Each person enrolled in Medicare will receive a new Medicare number and a new Medicare card. The new number will be made up of 11 letters and numbers.
  • Medicare recipients may start using their new Medicare card as soon as it is received, some will receive their care as soon as April 2018.
  • MAKE SURE your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at 800-772-1213.
  • You may not receive your card at the same time as your spouse, family member, neighbor or friend.
  • This card WILL NOT change any Medicare benefits.
  • The new card WILL NOT cost you anything.
  • You do not have to take any action to receive your new card.
  • The new cards will no longer show gender or have a signature line.
  • You may use either card during the transition period (April 2018-April 2019).
  • Starting January 2020 you can no longer use your old Medicare card.
  • Do not throw away your old card! After January 2020, SHRED your old Medicare card or keep it in a safe deposit box along with your Social Security card.
  • Medicare or Social Security will not call you about the new cards.
  • Neither Medicare nor Social Security will ask you for any personal information.
  • Neither Medicare nor Social Security will call, text, or email to tell you they are issuing new cards, reprocessing cards, or assigning new numbers.
  • You will be notified by mail of any changes to your Medicare-please verify the legitimacy of any correspondence you receive before giving out any personal information!
  • Be wary of scam artists contacting you “help you with the change,” “verify your information” or say you have to “pay for your new card.” These scams have already surfaced.
  • Be wary of scam artists contacting you threatening to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information.
  • Never give your Medicare number or your bank account information to anyone who contacts you.

REPORT all scams to the Arkansas SMP- 866-726-2916.

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