Why you are getting a new Medicare card, and what you need to know about it

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a fraud prevention initiative that removes Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards. Their aim is to help combat identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars. Starting April 2018, CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards that include a new Medicare Number. The mailings will be staggered throughout the year, with completion expected by April 2019.

The change will help protect your identity by removing Social Security Numbers and replacing them with a number that is unique to you on the new card. The unique number is called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The MBI will be comprised of 11 characters, and made up of numbers and uppercase letters.

To Prepare

  • Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213.
  • Medicare will be mailing new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. Mailing everyone a new card will take some time. Your card might arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
  • Once you get your new card, destroy your old card and start using your new card right away
  • Beware of anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare card, asking for you BMI, other personal information, or any kind of fee. Medicare will never ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare number and card.

Good to Know

  • Providers (such as Chestnut Hill Benevolent Association) and people with Medicare will both be able to use secure look-up options that will support quick access to Medicare numbers when they need them.
  • The new Medicare numbers won’t change your Medicare benefits.
  • People with Medicare may start using their new Medicare cards as soon as they get them.


10 Things to Know About Your New Medicare Card

Get an e-mail when your card is in the mail

Video about the new Medicare card


2 Responses to Why you are getting a new Medicare card, and what you need to know about it

  1. Diane Novak says:

    Thank you sooo much for this information … VERY helpful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *