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New Medicare Numbers Coming – Starting 2018

NEW MEDICARE NUMBERS STARTING IN 2018

We at Bridlewood have been telling clients for years, that if you have an Medicare Advantage plan, put your Medicare card in a safe place – at HOME! That’s because, as most of you know, your Medicare card uses your Social Security number followed by a letter to identify you. This presents a real threat to your identity if the card is ever lost or stolen. In the past, if you have a Medicare Supplement plan, you had to present both cards to your doctors office for billing purposes. That is all about to change . . .

Medicare is preparing to stop using Social Security numbers for identification next year and will send new cards to patients with Medicare ID numbers. The move is required by a law enacted two years ago to discourage identity theft.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated its web page to help health care providers prepare for the change. The agency plans to begin mailing the new cards with Medicare beneficiary identifiers (MBIs) in April 2018. During a transition period through 2019, providers can use the MBIs or health insurance claim numbers (which are based on Social Security numbers) on transactions such as billing and claims.

The 2015 law, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, requires CMS to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards by April 2019.

“We’re now figuring out the best way to mail the cards,” the agency advised providers. “We’ll keep you posted about critical information so you can be ready to ask your Medicare patients at the time of service if they have a new card with an MBI.”

CMS plans a “wide-scale outreach” to let beneficiaries know that they need to bring their new Medicare cards when they get care and how to get MBIs if they lose their cards.

AARP’s Fraud Watch Network ambassador, Frank Abagnale, advises consumers not to share Social Security numbers unnecessarily. “And don’t carry your Medicare card unless you are on your way to a health care appointment,” he wrote last year. “Instead, make a copy and black out all but the last four digits.” The new Medicare cards using a random set of numbers, will eliminate the need to take such safeguards, and provide seniors peace of mind that they won’t need to worry about this threat to their identity any longer.

Bridlewood Now Expanding Product Line

Bridlewood is pleased to announce our partnership with Life Answers Financial Group

LifeAnswers brings a combined 100 years of industry experience, next generation technology, along with a core group of top life insurance carriers for life insurance and annuity products for its members, for every stage of a customer’s financial needs.

Life Insurance: How many people enter retirement with little or no life insurance to cover expenses and replace income once a loved one has passed? How many folks have lost their life insurance once they came off their group coverage? We can help.

Annuities: The number one fear seniors have is outliving their money. An Annuity is a contract with an insurance company that can, guarantee Growth, guarantee Income and can guarantee No Loss of Principal when the market takes a downturn.

Critical Illness: If you are diagnosed with a qualifying cancer or illness, a policy provides a lump sum cash benefit payment that can be used to help pay for medical treatment, living expenses, or any other expenses you see encounter due to this illness.

Final Expense: Preparing for a funeral can be an exhausting burden for your family, but making sure you have the financial resource to cover the cost of a burial and funeral are extremely important for personal estate planning. Whether you’ve been to a funeral before or you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, it is important to know that final expense insurance can be depended on to provide a financial safety net to cover these costs.

Why this is So Important:

“Hello Jeff, I want to thank you for all your help. I’m glad there are still people like you that are willing to go the extra mile to help someone. What I have lived through the past 10 months (since my husband went to heaven) has been rough but things are getting better. You never understand a person’s troubles until you have to face it your-self. The life insurance plans you did for us a few years ago has helped me tremendously, because of the unexpected expenses and the loss of Michael’s income. Every penny helps me these days, and I appreciate everything you did for us.”

Personal Note: Our customers are our “family” and we must protect them as we would our own. Since Bridlewood is the leader in Medicare insurance in San Diego, we have a moral responsibility to protect our “family” from whatever life throws at them.