KHN Morning Briefing

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Medicare Cards Will No Longer Show Social Security Numbers

Social Security numbers will not be imprinted on Medicare cards for much longer. Government watchdogs have long advocated for the change based on growing identity theft concerns.

The New York Times: New Law To Strip Social Security Numbers From Medicare Cards
Concerned about the rising prevalence and sophistication of identity theft, most private health insurance companies have abandoned the use of Social Security numbers to identify individuals. The federal government even forbids private insurers to use the numbers on insurance cards when they provide medical or drug benefits under contract with Medicare. (Pear, 4/20)

UPI: Social Security Number Removed From Medicare Cards
Medicare cards will no longer display Social Security numbers, in an effort to change the way doctors are paid for treating Medicare patients and to prevent identity theft. President Barack Obama requested a $50 million down payment "to support the removal of Social Security numbers from Medicare cards" in his 2016 budget. Federal auditors and investigators have recommended removing the numbers for more than a decade, and Obama signed a bill doing so last week. (Pestano, 4/20)

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