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July 20, 2011

Way to go Senator Gillibrand!

Talk about a no brainer.  U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York is pushing legislation that will force the removal of Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and communications from Medicare.

Forty million Americans carry Medicare cards with their Social Security number on them.  They also receive letters and other communications from Medicare that include their Social Security numbers.  As a result, these people are at an increased risk of identity theft if their cards or communications from Medicare are compromised.

“Listing Social Security numbers on Medicare cards needlessly leaves millions of New Yorkers susceptible to identity theft,” said Gillibrand. “We must protect Medicare beneficiaries by deterring identity theft. Removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is simple step to help keep our seniors personal information secure.”

The proposed legislation, aptly named the Social Security Number Protection Act, would eliminate the display of Social Security numbers on Medicare cards and would stop the Department of Health and Human Services from collecting Social Security numbers and from listing Social Security numbers in communications to Medicare beneficiaries.  

I think this legislation is long overdue and, based on what I've read (which does not include the text of the proposed legislation), is a no brainer.  Good to see someone in Washington proposing something useful.  Good job, Senator Gillibrand!

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