Medicare claim #=Social security #

I just became a member of Medicare. I am surprised to see my claim number is my social security number. You are advised to carry the card with you. If the social security number is something we should protect, why is it so visible?

Annoying, ain’t it? I get the double whammy, as my Tricare coverage (retired military) is also my SSN. With all the hullabaloo over not letting anyone have your personal information, the government is still operating with a 60s mentality.

Obviously, if it’s just normal use (e.g., doctor’s office), it don’t matter none. But if your wallet gets stolen…

We’ve photocopied our Medicare cards, blanking out the first five digits, then laminated the card and that’s what we carry with us. Read somewhere that was a reasonable precaution.

And it is still on [at lest my copy] of the SS cards that it is not to be used as identification. :dubious::rolleyes:

Note that if you qualify for Medicare on the basis of your spouse’s work history instead of in your own right your claim number would their SSN with a different letter at the end.

Excellent idea. Thank you CKDH.
Has anyone tried asking for a different number? Maybe, just maybe, if enough people did, someone, somewhere might see there is a problem with the current situation.

IIRC, it was 1972 when the Federal privacy laws prohibited the collection/use of SSN’s by new applications.

Obviously, Medicare was “Grandfathered” under the law - it had been using SSN since day 1, so it was allowed (as were any other application using it) to continue.

I have no idea how, given that law, simply everybody now wants your SSN.

When I worked for a county (programmer), one task I was given was to come up with a way to ID so called “double dippers” - people illegally collecting welfare while working for the county.
I suggested a simple SSN check. No go - can’t use SSN on new applications. WTF!!
Ended up running name check (you may or may not be surprised how many people didn’t have enough sense to not use full middle name on both), address check.
SSN would have been much simpler and efficient.

That was on my first card that I got 62 years ago but not on the replacement card I got three years ago.

Wait, you don’t want to use your social security number for social security? I mean, there are lot’s of things that it’s used for that it probably shouldn’t be, but this is the one use that it was intended for.