New Medicare Numbers and Cards for All Beneficiaries

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 requires the Center for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new 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. The cards will still be red, white, and blue, but will no longer have personal information that could potentially put the Medicare beneficiary at risk for fraud. See what the new card will look like at https://www.medicare.gov/newcard/

So, when will you receive your new Medicare card? CMS started mailing out cards on April 1, 2018. Your state of residence on file with Social Security determines when you will receive yours. If you have moved and not updated Social Security with your new address, it will be important to do this as soon as possible. This can be done by calling the Social Security Administration toll free at 800-772-1213 or by going online and logging into your account at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/.

The mailing schedule for new Medicare cards is:

April June 2018: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Alaska, American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon.

After June 2018: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Virgin Islands.

For those currently a part of a Medicare Advantage plan, you will also receive a new Medicare card with your new MBI number. However, the membership identification card that was issued by your Medicare Advantage insurance company (examples: Humana, United Healthcare, etc.) will remain your primary health insurance card to use with your medical providers. Because these cards do not have your SSN on them or other personal identifying information, the company is not required to make changes to them at present. However, since your new MBI number will eventually be used in place of your current health insurance claim number (HICN), it is expected carriers will begin putting your MBI number on replacement cards as time goes on.

For more information about the new Medicare card and your new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier number, visit https://www.medicare.gov/newcard/ and https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/Downloads/TransitiontoNewMedicareNumbersandCards-909365.pdf.

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