Physician Practice

Social Security numbers to be removed from Medicare cards

Physician Practice Insider, May 15, 2015

In an effort to prevent medical identity theft, new Medicare cards will not list the Social Security numbers of beneficiaries, according to an announcement from the Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration.

President Barack Obama recently signed a bill instructing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue new cards that do not display, code, or embed Social Security numbers. The new law also includes information about funding this costly endeavor along with instructions for HHS to update the cards within the next four years and distribute them within another four years, according to the announcement.

Senior citizens are advised to carry their Medicare cards at all times, but this leaves them vulnerable to medical identity theft as the cards currently list Social Security numbers, according to the announcement.

This article originally appeared in the HIPAA Update blog.

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