Starting in April 2018, people with Medicare will start receiving a new Medicare card with a new Medicare number. The new cards will be mailed between April 2018 and April 2019.
Why a new number?
Medicare is removing Social Security Numbers from your card in order to:
- Better protect your private medical and financial information
- Prevent identity theft and fraud
- Safeguard taxpayer money
Each unique “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” (MBI) will consist of 11 numbers and letters. Your MBI
will not be based on your Social Security Number, birthday, address, or anything else related to you. It has no hidden meaning and cannot be used for any purpose other than getting health care.
Update your address
Make sure that Medicare has your current address so your new card arrives safely in your mailbox. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213. (TTY/TDD users can call 1-800-325-0778.)
Mailing everyone a new card will take some time. You might receive yours at a different time than your friend, neighbor, or spouse.
Once you get your new card, put it in a safe place and destroy your old card. Start using your new card right away.
Beware of scams
Protect your new card and number just as you do with your current card and other personal
information. Do not carry your Medicare (or Social Security) card in your wallet or purse. Only take it with you if you need it to access health care.
There is no charge for your new card and Medicare will never call you for your information. Ignore anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare card. If you receive any such calls or suspicious solicitations, hang up and call the California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-855-613-7080. SMP is a national program to help seniors prevent, detect, and report Medicare fraud and billing errors.
Your Medicare benefits will not change
Remember, your Medicare coverage will be the same as before. Your doctor and other care providers are prepared for the new cards and numbers. The healthcare you receive will not be affected.
If you need help with your Medicare, call the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222.