Union County, NJ – In recognition of May as Older Americans Month, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds Union County’s senior adults that they will receive new Medicare cards from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this summer.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the federal agency that runs the Medicare program. It is a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

“The new Medicare cards are intended to help keep our senior residents safe from fraud and identity theft,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “As with any other form of identification, Medicare card holders should continue to exercise caution and only share their information with health professionals or other authorized persons.”

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As a fraud and identity theft prevention measure, the new Medicare cards include an 11-character “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” instead of a Social Security number.

The new Medicare cards will be mailed to cardholders automatically as long as the address is accurate. To update an address, visit ssa.gov/myaccount  or call 1-800-772-1213 (for TTY use 1-800-325-0778).

The mailings will be done in waves by geographic location. Cards may arrive at different times for neighbors and friends due to the mailing schedule.

For additional details about the new Medicare card, visit online at medicare.gov/newcard, or in person at the Social Security office at 855 Lehigh Avenue in Union Township, or call 1-800-772-1213.

Chairman Granados also advised seniors to be aware of other programs and services that can help them avoid identity theft and other forms of fraud.

“The Freeholder Board supports the Anti-Fraud Toolkit created by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs,” said Chairman Granados. “The Toolkit includes an email alert network for sharing up-to-date news about the latest fraud incidents in New Jersey, especially those affecting seniors.”

For more information on the Anti-Fraud Toolkit, or and to sign up for Real-Time Fraud Alerts visit the Division of Consumer Affairs at njconsumeraffairs.gov/fightingfraud.

Union County residents are also encouraged to report possible frauds and scams to the Union County Office of Consumer Affairs. To file a complaint online, visit ucnj.org/public-safety or call 908-654-9840.

Another protective measure is to ensure that sensitive personal documents are shredded and securely disposed. Union County sponsors a regular series of free, secure paper shredding events throughout the spring, summer and fall. For a complete schedule, visit ucnj.org/recycling.

For information about other senior services offered by Union County, including Paratransit and senior meals, call the Union County Division on Aging toll-free at 888-280-8226, 908-527-4870, or visit online at ucnj.org/human-services.