The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has announced that approximately 220,000 Medicare beneficiaries’ card numbers have been compromised “by an unknown person or organization.” That means CMS doesn’t know who or how the cards were compromised.

Although CMS says it is working to “remedy the situation,” in the meantime, it is checking billing systems to prevent billing fraud and, if it suspects fraud, it will terminate the card number and issue the Medicare beneficiary a new card.

Until then, advocates for senior suggest that recipients:

  • Open any mail they receive from CMS, as it may contain a new Medicare card with a new number;
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE upon receiving a new Medicare card to confirm that you have indeed been issued a new card (this means that your old number was probably compromised);
  • Bring your new card to all of your appointments so your providers will be aware that you have been issued a new number;
  • Check your Explanation of Benefits statements closely to make sure they reflect the services you have received;
  • Report any suspicious billing to 1-800-MEDICARE; and
  • Remember that Medicare does not call you—you call them. If you receive a call from “Medicare” or CMS, it is a scam.