From the Publisher’s Desk: Bucket list trip & Medicare cards

BrucecolormugwebBy Bruce Schlabaugh

Well I’m back from Europe. We had a wonderful trip. Most of it was unforgettable in a good way.

That was the point of our bucket list trip. I don’t see me going back, unless I win the lottery.

The flight from Las Vegas to Copenhagen was 10 hours long – pretty brutal. The flight back had the extra bonus of three crying babies in the row in front of us. That aside, the things we saw and the people we met in Europe were very enjoyable.

We really got to know our way around the train system. One of our visits was to a Moorish castle in Portugal circa the 1300s. We were all overwhelmed at the size and scope of this castle. Words will not describe it but if you ever get to Portugal, you must see this castle.

In France, we got used to coffee, croissant and fresh-squeezed orange juice for breakfast at a reasonable price. Overall, we had a ball.

Now that I’m back home, I received a notice from Medicare that they were going to be changing our Medicare card numbers. Hooray! For years, seniors have been tricked by scammers into divulging their Medicare number which gives scammers the senior’s Social Security number. Too often, seniors fall prey to these unscrupulous thieves.

Soon you will be getting a unique number for your Medicare card.

There are some concerns about scams that take advantage of people who are confused about the transition to new Medicare cards. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

Social Security and Medicare already have your personal identifying information. This means that unless you ask them to, they will never call, email, or visit you. They will not ask for your Medicare number or other personal information to send you a new card.

There is no charge for your new card, so no one should contact you requesting payment.

You should continue to check your Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or Explanation of Benefits (EOB) and billing statements regularly and carefully, and to look out for any suspicious charges. Use a calendar to track your doctors’ appointments and services to be able to quickly spot fraud or billing mistakes.

If anyone contacts you requesting personal information or payment related to the new card, you should call 1-800-MEDICARE to report the activity.

Turn to page 15 for more information on Medicare cards.


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