Starting April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin sending out new Medicare cards to all Medicare members. The mailing, which will happen on a rolling basis, runs through April 2019.
In an effort to prevent fraud and help reduce the possibility of identity theft, your Social Security number (SSN) – currently featured on your old card – will not be shown on the new card that will be sent to you. The new card uses a unique 11-character Medicare Benefits Identifier (MBI) that may include uppercase letters.
Your MBI is not related to your SSN but will serve the same purpose of being used to verify your identity for your Medicare coverage. The new number does not change your coverage or benefits.
And you don’t need to do anything to receive the new card unless you’ve recently moved and have not updated your address with the Social Security Administration. You can update your address by visiting www.ssa.gov/myaccount or by calling 1.800.772.1213 (TTY users: 1.800.325.0778).
This campaign – reaching all of Medicare’s nearly 60 million enrollees – will take time. As you wait for your new card, you can still use your old one at doctors’ offices and hospitals until December 31, 2019.
Once you receive your new card, make sure to destroy the old one by putting it through a shredder or cutting it up.
If you accidentally leave your new card at home, your doctor or other health care provider should be able to look up your new Medicare number.
Additionally, once your new Medicare card arrives, you do not need to send a copy of it to CCPF.
- Again, you don’t need to do anything to receive your new Medicare card (unless you’ve changed addresses).
- The cards are free and being sent automatically by CMS to everyone enrolled in the Medicare program. A Medicare representative will never call you or email you about your new card, ask for personal information to send you a card, request money for the card or threaten your health benefits because you are unwilling to provide that information.
Learn more at the Medicare website.