What to Know about Your New Medicare Card

What to Know about Your New Medicare Card

If you’re currently enrolled in Medicare, there’s been an important change to Medicare cards you should know about. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new redesign of Medicare cards, which is intended to help prevent fraud and identity theft.1 But don’t worry if you haven’t received your new card yet. You can expect to receive it in the mail by April 2019.

What else does this mean for you and your Medicare? Read on to learn more about what you can expect with your new Medicare card.

Same Medicare program, new Medicare card design

Your new Medicare card will have a number that’s unique to you, called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The MBI is a randomly assigned 11-character number. It’ll replace your social security number on your Medicare card, to help better protect you and your personal information. The new Medicare card will not list your gender or require your signature.2 But not everything has changed. Your Medicare coverage and benefits won’t change because of this new card. Plus, the cards will still be red, white and blue!

How do I get my new Medicare card?

Unless your address is not up-to-date, your new Medicare card will be automatically mailed to you. If you’ve moved recently, check your Social Security Account to make sure your current address is correct. You can call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 if you need more assistance or are having trouble updating your address.

When will I receive my new Medicare card?

While many cards have already been shipped, CMS says it will take until April 2019 for all 60 million beneficiaries to receive their new Medicare cards. To check the status of your card, you can call the Medicare hotline at (800) 633-4227.

What do I do with my old Medicare card?

As soon as you receive your new Medicare card, be sure to shred your old one. You can start using your new card right away! If you haven’t received your new card yet, there’s a 21-month transition period where you can continue using your Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN). The HICN is listed under your name on the previous version of your Medicare card.

Learn more about Medicare

If you have more questions about your new Medicare card, visit Medicare.gov. If you’d like information about Medicare and the plans available, we’re always here to help you.


1The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Web page: New Medicare Cards Offer Greater Protection to More than 57.7 Million Americans. (05/30/2017), from https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/new-medicare-cards-offer-greater-protection-more-577-million-americans

2The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Web page: New Medicare Cards. (01/16/2019), from https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html