Medicare and Identity Theft
I've spent my entire adult life refusing to use my Social Security number as ID for medical care. In the beginning it was difficult; providers felt they were entitled to use it. In recent years, it seems that providers have grown used to such objections. They simply create a dummy number for me.
Now I turn 65 in November, and guess what? My Medicare number is my Social Security number! I'm not happy about that at all, and especially after reading this article that claims “more than a quarter-million Medicare beneficiaries are potential victims of identity theft and hampered in getting health care benefits because the government won't issue new IDs.” Medicare’s position, it seems, is “Oh well…It’s only 284,000 people.” It’s too expensive and too time-consuming to change the numbers, so the poor beneficiaries face obstacles in obtaining care. What an outrage!
So have any of you or your parents had problems using your Medicare card? Have any of you experienced access problems? What have you done to protect your account or to get care? I'm a little worried!