Protecting Your Identity

Congressman Gerry Connolly
2017-07-05 14:35:42
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Protecting Your Identity


Dear Neighbor,

It seems that every day we hear of another data breach or new dangers posed by identity theft. We are all cautioned to protect our personally identifying information (PII) such as our date of birth, addresses, or other information that would make it easier to be victimized. Of course, the most important piece of PII to protect and keep confidential is your Social Security number.

Since the inception of Medicare, Social Security numbers have been printed on Medicare ID cards and used as the claim ID numbers. Unfortunately, this practice has left many people vulnerable to attempts to steal access to your Social Security number and increases the possibility of identity theft and fraud.

I have repeatedly shared my concerns with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and have encouraged them to take steps immediately to protect your identity. Thanks to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which I was proud to support, this practice will soon end. Social Security numbers will be removed from all Medicare cards by April 2019.

Beginning in April 2018, a full year before the deadline, new Medicare cards will begin being mailed to all program participants. These new cards will contain Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers instead of your Social Security number. While it will take several months for all Medicare participants to receive new cards, I am encouraged that this is another important step in efforts to protect you and your identity from being compromised.

Whether it is improving the safety of your Social Security number or responding to the OPM data breach, know that I will continue to push Congress to quickly take steps to protect your personal information and guard against data breaches. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office at 703-256-3071.

Sincerely,


Gerald E. Connolly
Member of Congress
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