By Andrew Bird

In this day and age with identity theft running so rampant and still continuing to rise, one must be vigilant in protecting their personal information from scammers and other such criminals. Personal information includes things like your name and Social Security, credit card, and Medicare numbers.

One way Medicare will be helping to protect patients against identity theft is they will be mailing out new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that is unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity.

A few things to know about your new Medicare card: you don’t need to take any action to get your new Medicare card; the new card will not change your Medicare coverage or benefits; Medicare will never ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare number and card; and there is no charge for the new card.

Always guard your Medicare card and don’t share your Medicare number and other personal information with anyone who contacts you by phone, email, or by approaching you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance.

If someone calls you and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information, hang up and call the Medicare phone number at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). If you suspect identity theft, or feel like you gave your personal information to someone you shouldn’t have, contact the Federal Trade Commission.

Andrew Bird, an agent of Financial Concepts in Mesquite, specializes in Medicare and Insurance services. Andrew Bird can be reached at 702-346-7025 or by email at