Medicare is taking steps to prevent fraud, fight identity theft and protect essential program funding and the private healthcare and financial information of Medicare beneficiaries by removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will issue new Medicare cards with a new unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) to replace the existing Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) both on the cards and in various CMS systems we use now. We’ll start mailing new cards to people with Medicare benefits in April 2018. In New York, we expect the mailing to begin in a few weeks.

Once beneficiaries receive their new Medicare cards, they should destroy their old Medicare cards and start using the new ones right away. Mailing all of the cards will take time, so an individual may receive his/her card at a different time than his/her spouse, friend, or neighbor. To learn more, beneficiaries should visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877- 486-2048.

Here’s how people with Medicare can get ready:

  • Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at or 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.
  • Beware of anyone who contacts you about your new Medicare card. Medicare will never ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card.

Please share this information widely. For other resources on the new Medicare card, visit Materials available that can be easily shared or posted include:

PosterFact sheet

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