I’m writing to inform readers of a simple and effective step we can take to protect our seniors from identity theft—removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.
One in five Americans above the age of 65 fall victim to financial fraud. In New York alone, approximately half a million seniors have been prey for scammers.
While it’s not surprising that criminals target Social Security numbers to steal identities, it is surprising that Social Security numbers continue to be included on Medicare cards, putting millions of New York seniors at risk.
That’s why I introduced the Seniors’ Identity Theft Protection Act. The bill would remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards, which currently display the number, and would also require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop an alternative identification number for Medicare and Medicaid cards. It’s a common-sense solution that would go a long way in protecting our seniors.
Our seniors have worked long and hard to earn retirement and benefits—we should be doing everything in our power to ensure that criminals can’t use them to commit financial fraud.
—Rep. Steve Israel