Medicare Cards Changing

Time has come for new Medicare ID cards. The law requires Social Security numbers be removed from the cards by April 2019. Cards will have a new number (called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI)), to protect consumers from identity theft/fraud. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin mailing cards by April 2018.

Each person with Medicare will get their own randomly-generated number. Spouses or dependents (whom may have had the similar number), will have their own unique number. The cards will have 11 characters, containing numbers and uppercase letters, example: 1FG4-TE6-MK67. Also, the gender and signature line will be removed from the card

Providers will also be alerted of the change. When a Medicare member visits their doctor/hospital after it is issued, the member will be asked for the new card. If the member doesn’t have the new card, providers will be able to search the new number with the patient’s name, date of birth, and SSN. If the patient is not comfortable providing the SSN, they can also log into their Medicare account on to get the new number. Note: If you haven’t created a Medicare account, it’s a good idea to do that.

If the member has moved since the first time the card was received, it’s a good idea to contact Medicare to verify they have a current address on file (otherwise, the new card may not arrive). To update/verify, members can either call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or go online at

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