New Medicare cards will be showing up in mailboxes before you know it!
In a move to combat medical identity theft, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is issuing new cards that no longer include Social Security numbers.
You’ve probably heard about this for a few years, but it’s finally happening…
Every Medicare beneficiary is about to receive a new health insurance card
New Medicare cards will gradually be mailed to everyone with Medicare based on geographic location and other factors. Here’s what the new paper cards look like:
Medicare Beneficiary Identifier
The SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) is being replaced with an 11-character Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), which is made up of numbers and uppercase letters.
Each MBI is randomly generated and the characters don’t have any hidden or special meaning.
Once you receive your new Medicare card with an MBI, you can use it right away and destroy your old card. Your coverage and benefits will stay the same.
When will you receive a new Medicare card?
The cards will be mailed to beneficiaries in waves. You can sign up to receive an email when your card is in the mail at medicare.gov/newcard. This map from Medicare shows where things stand as of September 2018:
Updated Medicare card mailing schedule (September 2018)
|U.S. Virgin Islands
This is important: Medicare will automatically mail your new card for free to the address you have on file with Social Security. Click here if you need to update your mailing address.
Watch out for scams!
Scammers may be looking to profit during this transition period. Beware of anyone who contacts you and requests your card number or says you need to pay for your new card.