New Medicare Numbers Starting in 2018

We at Term Team EZLife have been telling clients for years, that if you have an Medicare Advantage plan, put your Medicare card in a safe place – at HOME!

That’s because, as most of you know, your Medicare card used your Social Security number followed by a letter to identify you. This has always presented a real threat to your identity if the card is ever lost or stolen. In the past, if you have a Medicare Supplement plan, you had to present both cards to your doctor’s office for billing purposes. That has all changed!

Safeguard yourself

Medicare is preparing to stop using Social Security numbers for identification next year and is sending new cards to patients with Medicare ID numbers. The move is required by a law enacted two years ago to discourage identity theft.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated its web page to help healthcare providers prepare for the change. The agency began mailing the new cards with Medicare beneficiary identifiers (MBIs) back in April 2018. During a transition period through 2019, providers can use the MBIs or health insurance claim numbers (which are based on Social Security numbers) on transactions such as billing and claims.

The 2015 law, the Medicare Access, and CHIP Reauthorization Act, requires CMS to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards by April 2019.

CMS agency advised providers. “We’ll keep you posted about critical information so you can be ready to ask your Medicare patients at the time of service if they have a new card with an MBI.”

CMS plans a “wide-scale outreach” to let beneficiaries know that they need to bring their new Medicare cards when they get care and how to get MBIs if they lose their cards.

AARP’s Fraud Watch Network ambassador, Frank Abagnale, advises consumers not to share Social Security numbers unnecessarily. “And don’t carry your Medicare card unless you are on your way to a health care appointment,” he wrote last year. “Instead, make a copy and black out all but the last four digits.” The new Medicare cards using a random set of numbers will hopefully eliminate the need to take such safeguards and provide seniors peace of mind that they won’t need to worry about this threat to their identity any longer.

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Tattoo’s……Need, Want, or Desire????

We have had such a huge response to the Blog, “Life Insurance……Priorities, Priorities, Priorities” where I spoke about a couple and her husband’s new tattoo……That I just had to add this side note……

Tattoos are considered by some to be beautiful works of art, while others may think them to be abhorrent…….But no matter how or what you may think about them most would agree that as a “Financial Consideration”……Tattoos will (and should) always fall fully into the “Desire” category.

That is exactly why I wrote about tattoos previously…….If you really, really must have one, then it should fall in line behind basic necessities such as food, utilities, basic clothing, medical needs……and YES…….Life Insurance!

While I know there are many other things that most people would put ahead of an inexpensive Term Life Insurance Policy, I still cannot emphasize its importance enough! There is absolutely nothing you or your family can do about an untimely death……It cannot be put off, changed, or altered……But the timing of getting a (generally expensive) tattoo CAN be put off indefinitely, which would allow for other more important budget items to be appropriated for in your life……

I consider Life Insurance to be the most important “Insurance” you could own…..Why?…..Well it is certainly not because it pays me more to sell it……as it is one of the least expensive coverage’s overall you can buy! Life Insurance covers your beneficiaries for something you cannot “Buy” your way out of…..DEATH! While most other situations in life, financially and otherwise, can be fixed over time……There is nothing that can fix the certainty of dying…..Right?

I have never met a widow who said her husband had enough Life Insurance….. AND I do not think that anyone, in hindsight, would ever say, “I sure am glad Joe got that nice tattoo instead of that Life Insurance Policy before he died”……. Silly maybe…..But true so…….

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