Date: September 30, 2008
the “Medicare Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2008”
On September 29, 2008, the House suspended the rules and passed H.R. 6600, the “Medicare Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2008,” by voice vote. The bill now goes to the Senate. 1
Provisions of interest to the Social Security Administration are described below.
• Would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Commissioner, to establish cost-effective procedures to ensure that Social Security numbers (SSNs) or derivatives thereof would not be displayed on or embedded in Medicare cards.
• Would be effective with respect to Medicare cards issued on or after the effective date determined by the Secretary but in no case would such a date be later than 24 months after the date adequate funding is provided (see penultimate bullet below).
• Would provide that all Medicare cards with SSNs be reissued under the new requirements no later that 3 years after effective date specified above.
• Would allow individuals to apply for reissuance of Medicare cards before the general reissuance effective date under exceptional circumstances as the Secretary would specify.
• Would require the Secretary, in consultation with the Commissioner, to develop an outreach program about the new Medicare cards.
• Would require the Secretary, in consultation with the Commissioner, to submit a report to Congress with options for implementation of the requirements, including costs estimates and justifications of the costs associated with each option. The report would be required no later than 1 year after enactment.
• Would provide that the requirements would not take effect until adequate funding is provided.
• Would authorize, after the report is submitted, appropriations to the Secretary and Commissioner for administrative expenses for each of the 5 fiscal years related to implementation of the bill.
1 It is unclear as of the date of this Bulletin whether the Senate will take action on the bill before the 110th Congress adjourns.