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Regular Contributor
Posts: 187
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Social Security #'s on Medicare Cards?!

Well this was a bit of a surprise!  My friend turned 65 in May so signed up for Medicare.  She receives her Medicare card - in the mail - and sees that her social security number is right on the card, front and center!  I couldn't believe it when she showed it to me.  What genius thought to put a SS number on a card that millions of people carry every day?  They couldn't just assign other numbers? I think this is crazy.  What if someone loses a wallet - their SS#is there for all to see! Meanwhile people are told over and over NOT to carry their regular SS card and to keep that number safe.  To top it off, the Medicare card instructs people to carry it at all times.  What's wrong with this picture?

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,674
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Social Security #'s on Medicare Cards?!

My mother's Medicare card had a SS number on it, my father's. This is nothing new.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 35,784
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Social Security #'s on Medicare Cards?!

There was a time all health insurance cards had the social security number on it.  I work for a private insurance company and remember when we started to de-identify the subsciber's 'contract number'.

 

Often times, the mandates that apply to insurance companies do not apply to government programs.

 

Not trying to start a fight - it is what it is :-)

"Wait by the river long enough and the body of your enemy will float by you"

Sun Tzu
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Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,997
Registered: ‎03-25-2012

Re: Social Security #'s on Medicare Cards?!

It makes sense since SS and Medicare are so intertwined.  My SS number is on my Medicare card with an "A" following it.  I don't know if all Medicare cards have an "A" or what it stands for.  All I know is that's how it's always been.

Formerly Ford1224
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel 1986
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Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,153
Registered: ‎05-22-2012

Re: Social Security #'s on Medicare Cards?!


@birdmama wrote:

There was a time all health insurance cards had the social security number on it.  I work for a private insurance company and remember when we started to de-identify the subsciber's 'contract number'.

 

Often times, the mandates that apply to insurance companies do not apply to government programs.

 

Not trying to start a fight - it is what it is :-)


 

This is exactly right and that time was not very long ago. California passed a law that became effective in 2002 and prevented this from private business, notably insurance carriers. It changed the entire industry because all the big insurance companies insure people in California.

 

Government agencies were excluded from the law, however.

 

It's a fantastic question and one you should bring up with your congressmen. That's maybe something they could all manage to agree on - just don't tell them the idea started in California.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,937
Registered: ‎03-30-2010

Re: Social Security #'s on Medicare Cards?!

Isn't that the craziest?  Evidently, many stolen SS #'s were stolen through Dr. and dentist's offices!  Surely the brilliant minds at the federal gov't  could have developed a way to assign a different number for Medicare.  However, I'm probably giving them too much credit for their abilities.

 

If your medical care office asks for your SS#, you can tell them NO.  They can use your phone # and/or your DOB for ID purposes.   My neighbor just encountered this.  When she refused to give her SS#, the front desk employee said that she needed to put someting in that space.  My neighbor said use "000-00-0000"  She did not give her SS#!

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,173
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Re: Social Security #'s on Medicare Cards?!

I only use the last 4 digits on any form, I will not give out my number.
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Super Contributor
Posts: 325
Registered: ‎06-09-2014

Re: Social Security #'s on Medicare Cards?!

Ford, the A on your Medicare card is to identify the primary beneficiary and B follows that of the secondary beneficiary. Also, if you are secondary the primary's SS # is on your card not your number. This is if you are being paid benefits or covered by Medicare through a spouse.
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,015
Registered: ‎07-16-2012

Re: Social Security #'s on Medicare Cards?!

[ Edited ]

Why are you surprised? In order to qualify for Medicare or Medicade you must enter the system; which also means you have to have a Social Security #. Then you receive an  official Medicare or Medicade card when you reach qualifing age (currently 65). Over and over we are advised to NOT carry your social security card; keep in a safe place; this is constantly being published and even says it on the card and all the documents that come with the offical card. YOU NEVER CARRY YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY CARD AROUND WITH YOU.

 

 If you do not provide your ss # and/or medicare or medicade cards and a photo ID when you are going to use any government benefits i.e. medical treatment through medicare or medicade the office where you are filling out your medical information needs other proof of who you are (as mentioned in another post here). With this other provided information they look you up and write you ss #/ Medicare ID # on you information sheet anyway. You are not protecting anything; you ss #/ Medicare # gives your account access to your qualifications. If you give out bogues information or no insurance information i.e. private insurance or government insurance and they cannot submit your medical claim then you will get the bill and be responsible for the entire amount.

 

Your social security number is a code of several things; what state you applied in and other information. The A at the end of the numbers means you contributed to your account at sometime in your work history. The B means you did not contribute but are qualified under your spouses account.

 

Yes, having our SS numbers on everything is ridiculous and obviously was not thought out since there was no such thing as computers and internet identity theft when this system was created many years ago.

 

There are many discussion going on in Congress how to privide a new numerical system that is not required everywhere and easily stolen. I asked my internist if the people at the front desk were bonded and researched before given the power to see all our important information and got a very vague answer.

 

By the way, we've been having this discussion for about 40 years now. This is nothing new.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,997
Registered: ‎03-25-2012

Re: Social Security #'s on Medicare Cards?!


@addiegal wrote:
Ford, the A on your Medicare card is to identify the primary beneficiary and B follows that of the secondary beneficiary. Also, if you are secondary the primary's SS # is on your card not your number. This is if you are being paid benefits or covered by Medicare through a spouse.

 

Wow, thanks for that!!  I truly never thought about researching the reason for it.  I have been single since 1975, so I am proud to be the primary beneficiary!!

 

Formerly Ford1224
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel 1986