New Medicare cards offer greater protection to more than 57.7 million Americans starting in April 2018! New cards will no longer contain Social Security numbers, to combat fraud, identity theft, illegal use of Medicare benefits and inaccuracies in medical records.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, requires removal of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. The new cards will use a unique randomly-assigned 11-digits consisting of numbers and UPPERCASE letters called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), to replace the Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) currently used on the Medicare card. CMS will begin mailing new cards in April 2018 starting in phases by geographic locations and will meet the congressional deadline for replacing all Medicare cards by April 2019.
The new MBI won’t change Medicare benefits. People with Medicare may start using their new Medicare cards and MBIs as soon as they get them.