Remember to tell Social Security you've moved

If you receive Social Security and/or Medicare, make sure you inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) when you move. That’s especially important now while the SSA is mailing out new Medicare cards. Even though the Internet is a virtual playground for scam artists, snail mail is still vulnerable to thieves. They’ve been known to file a change of address notice with the local U.S. Post Office, to snag your personal information, checks, and to keep you from finding out that they’ve opened accounts in your name.

It’s not as easy as it used to be for someone to change your address with the post office (I remember in the early ‘90s when my young son had a fight with a neighbor kid. All the kid’s dad had to do was tell the postal carrier we’d moved, and suddenly my mail stopped) but it can and is done. That’s why you should have an online mySocialSecurity account so you can protect yourself by making sure your information is up-to-date.

When your new Social Security card arrives, it will have a new, more secure Medicare number. Until now, your Medicare number has been the same as your Social Security number, with the addition of one letter. And while most of us don’t carry our Social Security cards with us, we do often carry our Medicare cards (although you really don’t need to). For decades, advocates for seniors have been asking for a better system that doesn’t use Social Security numbers. Finally, our voices have been heard, and new cards started being mailed out in April 2018, and will continue on a schedule through April 2019.

You should know, scammers have been calling seniors and telling them they must pay a fee to receive their new cards. Here’s what the Social Security Administration says:“Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare number) by contacting you about your new card. If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang up and call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).”

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