Vestal, NY Medicare beneficiaries will soon be receiving new identification cards in the mail. Before they arrive, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Action for Older Persons, and Broome County Office for Aging gathered Thursday to help local seniors better understand what to expect.
Given the number of scams and false solicitations that often arrive by mail, we want Medicare recipients to understand that these new cards are legitimate, said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. These cards are a lifeline for many seniors, so its important that they not be discarded.
The new cards are expected to start arriving by the end of this month and will be sent by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. To enhance beneficiaries security, the new cards will have a new, randomly generated alpha-numeric identification number, replacing the Social Security number that was included on the old cards.
Many people carry their Medicare cards in the purse or wallet; with the old card plus other forms of ID like a drivers license, losing ones wallet could often be a recipe for identity theft, said Casondra Hamiltion, Action for Older Persons Executive Director. The new Medicare Beneficiary ID simply offers better protection and does not change the way recipients use them.
The new cards can be used immediately after they are received; Action for Older Persons urges that old cards be shredded and discarded. AOP also notes that no one will be contacted by phone prior to the new card arriving; any calls received asking to verify information related to your new card should be considered a scam. Additional questions can be directed to AOP at 607-722-1251.