Monday, February 6, 2023

Commissioner Causey and SHIIP advise Medicare beneficiaries how to respond to recent federal data breach

Feb 6, 2023

Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey and SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, are asking North Carolinians enrolled in Medicare to be on the lookout for legitimate correspondence by mail from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

In mid-December, CMS issued a press release responding to a data breach from a third party contractor, Healthcare Management Solutions, LLC (HMS), that may involve Medicare beneficiaries’ personal information.

While there are over 64 million Medicare recipients nationwide, this recent data breach incident has the potential to impact only up to 254,000 Medicare beneficiaries. CMS reports that it is not aware of any reports of identity fraud or improper use of information as a direct result of this incident. In the meantime, existing Medicare cards can still be used.

CMS will be notifying beneficiaries whose information may have been put at risk due to the breach by letter in the coming weeks. Those persons affected will receive an updated Medicare card with a new Medicare identification number, be offered free-of-charge credit monitoring services and will provide additional information about the incident.

“Those seniors receiving Medicare benefits should be on the lookout for correspondence from the federal government regarding this incident,” Commissioner Causey said. “I urge those that do receive letters in the mail to take action and ensure their information is secure.”

What You Can Do

After you get your new card, you should:

1. Follow the instructions in the letter that comes with your new card.
2. Destroy your old Medicare card.
3. Inform your providers that you have a new Medicare Number.

For assistance with Medicare questions, contact NC SHIIP at 1-855-408-1212 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to speak to a SHIIP counselor. SHIIP counselors are not licensed insurance agents. They do not sell, endorse, or oppose any product, plan or company. If you have questions about your specific plan, we encourage you to contact your insurance agent or insurance company.

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