April 27, 2018

9 things retirees should never keep in their wallets

Medicare Card

Retirees, double check your Medicare card, too. If it was issued before April 2015, it has your Social Security number on it. A law signed in April 2015 requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to remove SSNs from Medicare cards, but the change is being implemented gradually by geographic region. It will take until April 2019 before SSNs are removed from all cards.

Photocopy your Medicare card (front and back) and carry the copy with you instead of your real card. Keep your real Medicare card in a safe place at home. Experts are torn when it comes to blacking out your Social Security number on the photocopy — some think it’s sufficient to black out the first five digits, while others think it’s best to mask the entire number — so err on the side of caution and black out all nine digits. If a medical appointment requires your full SSN, you can provide it upon request from memory or in advance by phone.

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