CMS to Mail New Medicare Cards Beginning April 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is in the process of removing Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all new Medicare cards. A Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status.

New Medicare Cards - 2018

Congress passed a law in 2015 requiring the CMS to change using social security numbers as a way to protect seniors from identity theft. The new identifiers will be a randomly generated sequence of 11 numbers and letters (see example card).

According to the CMS, the MBI won’t change Medicare benefits. If you have Medicare, you may start using your new Medicare cards and MBIs as soon as you get them. The effective date of the new cards, like the old cards, is the date you are eligible for Medicare.

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 — March 20, 2018