New Medicare Cards are Coming

New cards contain safer, unique numbers to protect your identity

Beginning in April 2018 and going through April 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail new Medicare cards to the approximately 60 million individuals who have Medicare. If you are currently a Medicare beneficiary, you can expect to receive a new card in the mail from CMS. The new card replaces your existing red, white and blue card and no longer uses your Social Security number as your Medicare ID. Your new card will have a new unique Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), which is a random combination of 11 numbers and letters.

Q: What do you need to do to get your new Medicare card?

A: The new card is available at no cost to you, and you do not need to do anything to get it. As a Medicare beneficiary, you will automatically receive the card in the mail, as long as CMS has your current mailing address. If you need to update your address, visit your my Social Security account by clicking here.

Q: Does this change your Medicare benefits?

A: No. Your Medicare benefits will not change because you have a new red, white and blue Medicare card with a new MBI. You will continue to have the same medical and prescription drug coverage that you currently have. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, keep using your current Medicare Advantage membership card as you do today whenever you receive healthcare or buy prescription drugs from a retail pharmacy.

Q: What changes will you see with the new Medicare card? 

A: The new Medicare card no longer displays your Social Security number. Instead, your card will feature a new Medicare identifier that is unique to you, called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier. By replacing your Social Security number with the MBI, Medicare is helping protect you from fraud and identity theft, a growing concern among Americans of all ages.  

Q: When would you use the new Medicare card?

A: First, be sure to keep your new Medicare card in a secure place. If you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan but decide at some time in the future to enroll in Original Medicare for your coverage, you will need your new red, white and blue Medicare card.

Q: Is your MBI Personally Identifiable Information?

A: Yes. Please be sure to protect your personal information. CMS will never call you to verify your identity or ask you to provide bank account or credit card information, or your Social Security number or MBI. If a caller asks you for this information, hang up and call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to report the call. Do not share your Social Security number, your MBI or your Medicare Advantage plan member ID number (if you have one) with an unknown caller.

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