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medicare cards to remove SSN#

Legislation (HR 6600) recently introduced in the House would remove beneficiaries’ Social Security numbers from Medicare cards to help prevent identity theft, CQ HealthBeat reports. The measure, introduced by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), would require that Medicare remove, code or embed beneficiaries’ Social Security numbers in their cards.

According to a release from Doggett, other than Social Security cards, the Medicare card is the most commonly issued government document displaying a person’s Social Security number. The measure is in response to a May report from the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General that recommended Social Security numbers be removed from Medicare cards, according to the release. Doggett in the release said, “Forty-four million Americans carry in their wallet or purse something that makes them needlessly more vulnerable to identify theft — it’s their Medicare card,” adding, “Their savings and credit should not be put at risk if someone steals their Medicare card”