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Things you Need to know


What is a Spoofing Scam?

A Spoofing scam is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Spoofing is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information so it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally, but also can be used legitimately, for example, to display the toll-free number for a business.

Information About Scams!!!

Recently, we have heard of a number of scams where individuals posing as Social Security employees call and ask for personal information like your name, Social Security number and bank account information. The caller alleges that we need this information so we can issue you additional funds or rebates or they allege that because of a computer glitch your personal information has been lost. If you receive any phone call with the number 800-772-1213 on your caller-ID screen, beware. While that number is the SSA’s national customer service line, the call is likely to be a technological trick that thieves are using to try to obtain your Social Security Number (SSN) or other personal information.

Another scam used an email that was designed to look like it came from Social Security. It provided information about the annual cost-of-living-adjustment and directed readers to a website designed to look like Social Security’s site so people could “update their information” — valuable information to identity thieves and criminals.

In an effort to combat such scams, we want to make one thing perfectly clear: Social Security will not send you an email asking you to give us your personal information, such as your Social Security number, date of birth, or other private information. If someone saying they are from Social Security does email you requesting information, don’t respond to the message. Instead, contact your local Social Security office or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to see whether we really need any information from you.

Whatever you do, don’t fall victim to a scam. Don’t give out your personal information.

Social Security and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) take these scams very seriously. We do everything we can to stop the perpetrators and educate the public. To report suspicious activity, please call the OIG Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. (If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call the OIG TTY number at 1-866-501-2101.) A Public Fraud Reporting form is also available online at OIG’s website:

You will always receive prior notification from us by mail or telephone before a personal visit is made. When in doubt, contact us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and we can verify the identity of the Social Security employee who has contacted you.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation offers a great deal of information on Scams and Safety.  Their website is


Medicare Cost Sharing 

Important information recently comes to light


New Medicare Card Rolling out in April of 2018 


In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.   This law requires the removal of the social security numbers from all Medicare cards by April 2019.  This new initiative is referred to as the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI.) A new randomly generated Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the social security number.  When the initiative gets underway all Medicare beneficiaries will be assigned a new MBI and be sent a new Medicare card.

The primary goal of the initiative is to decrease Medicare beneficiaries’ vulnerability to identity theft by removing the social security number from their Medicare cards and replacing it with a new Medicare MBI which does not contain any other personal information.

Key information 

Starting April 2018, CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards that include a new Medicare Number. The mailings will be staggered throughout the year,with completion expected by April 2019. The 2018 Medicare &You handbook will have information for you as well.

What you will need to prepare for are:

  • Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected,contact;
  • Social Security at  t or 1-­‐800-­‐772-­‐1213.TTY user scan call 1-­800-­‐325-­‐0778.
  • Beware of anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare card. Social Security and Medicare will never ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare number and card.
  • Understand that mailing everyone a new card will take some time. Your card might arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
  • Once you get your new card,destroy your old card and start using your new card right away
  • Protect yourself by making sure no one can get your personal information from your old Medicare card
  • Your new Medicare card will have a “Unique number” or “number that’s unique to you”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is readying a fraud prevention project that
removes Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards to help combat identity theft and safe guard taxpayer dollars.

  • Providers and people with Medicare will both be able to use secure look-­‐up options that will support quick access to Medicare numbers when they need them.
  • The new Medicare numbers won’t change Medicare benefits .People with Medicare may start using their new Medicare cards as soon as they get them.

The primary goal of the initiative is to decrease Medicare beneficiaries’ vulnerability to identity theft by removing the social security number from their Medicare cards and replacing it with a new Medicare MBI which does not contain any other personal information.

New Medicare Card



2019 Open Enrollment Medicare coverage  for Part D is in the fall of 2018, from October 15 to December 7.

During this annual enrollment period (AEP) individuals can make changes to various aspects of your coverage.

  • You can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa.
  • You can also switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or from one Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan to another.
  • And if you didn’t enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can do so during the general open enrollment, although a late enrollment penalty may apply.

If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must meet some basic criteria.

*If you are an American Indian /Alaskan Native and utilize Indian Health Services, You will need to know that Medicare Advantages plans are not accepted by your local IHS facility.

Auto-renewal is available

  • If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan and you don’t want to make changes to your coverage for 2019, you don’t need to do anything during open enrollment, assuming your current plan will still be available in 2019.
  • If your plan is being discontinued and isn’t eligible for renewal, you would have received a non-renewal notice from your carrier prior to open enrollment. If you didn’t, it means you can keep your plan without doing anything during open enrollment.

Benefits and Premium changes for 2019

  • Be aware that your benefits and premium could be changing for 2019. So even if you’re confident that you want to keep your current coverage for the coming year, it’s important to make sure you understand any changes that may apply, and that you’ve double checked to make sure that your current plan is still the best available option. The available plans and what they cover changes from one year to the next, so even if the plan you have now was the best option when you shopped last year, it’s important to verify that again before you lock yourself in for another year.

* Medicare General Enrollment for Part A & Part B  is in January 1 – March 31 of every year 


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