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New Medicare cards are on the way

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Changes are coming to your Medicare card. By April 2019, your card will be replaced with one that no longer shows your Social Security number. Instead, your card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claim status. And it will all happen automatically – you won’t have to pay anyone or give anyone information, no matter what someone might tell you.

Having your Social Security number removed from your Medicare card helps fight medical identity theft and protect your medical and financial information. But even with these changes, scammers will still look for ways to take what doesn’t belong to them. Here are some ways to avoid Medicare scams:

  • Is someone calling, claiming to be from Medicare, and asking for your Social Security number or bank information? Hang up. That’s a scam. First, Medicare won’t call you. Second, Medicare will never ask for your Social Security number or bank information.
  • Is someone asking you to pay for your new card? That’s a scam. Your new Medicare card is free.
  • Is someone threatening to cancel your benefits if you don’t give up information or money? Also a scam. New Medicare cards will be mailed out to you automatically. There won’t be any changes to your benefits.

For more on the new changes to your Medicare card, visit Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. And report scams to the FTC.


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Health & Fitness


Excellent information for all. Thanks very much for posting. Sadly, "required" use of a person's SSN from everything from A to Z over the years is a contributing factor to why ID theft is where it is on consumer protection radar today. As I understand it, it was never meant to be more than an identifying number for an SSA account. The times in which we live... Keep up the good work FTC!

Hmm.. If this is just now happening in 2019? Then why didn't they think of this before Medicare cards were ever sent out?

Hi there uphill I grew up in the 60s, and 70s, I don't know how old you are,life was a lot slower back then, the people were nicer, I'm sure they didn't think the way of life would change into the way it is now, I'm not excusing there thinking, if they could have even guessed the way life would change, I'm sure they would have done the change back then

When the Social Security Act established both Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, there was no such thing as identity theft. In my state, they used my SS# on my driver's license. In college, the SS# identified who I was. Just be glad that this is finally happening.

Finally --it was always so obvious SS# available in medical field COMMON SENSE should have been changed long ago

Common sense and government policy rarely mesh.


It should never been allowed to be use except for ss. anyway. Who came up with that dumb idea anyway?


It is wrong that they ever started using SS numbers for anything but SS I know on my first card that I still have it is printed on it Not for ID purposes but then they started using them for every thing

I worked for a well-known health insurer who used social security numbers for their members insurance cards. The company has stopped this practice.

Thank you. I was always nervous about my ssn appearing on my card-anyone who saw my card learned my number! Thank you.

I am so grateful for these alerts...Thank you.

Thanks, great News

I don't want Spanish on my card. I'm an American and I speak English. I don't read or speak Spanish. This is USA. Everything from the government should be in English.

The US does not have a national language requirement. Maybe write your Congressman and see if you can get Federal law changed to create a required language for the USA.

I think it is well the project for 2019 (i-card) Medicare card, without insurance number to issue but it was also not bad to image a picture.If a card is stolen and shown to the doctor, it can be immediately vestgescht that is not the person.

I absolutely agree about having your picture on the card. The new VA I.D. cards have your picture AND they are need for lamination.

Am I suppose to have a Medicare card - I have Part B benefits with Tri-care?

Please ask your health care provider about that.

Ask your health care provider? As in a physician????

Please contact your insurance company.

"Am I suppose to have a Medicare card - I have Part B benefits with Tri-care?"

Yes, you should have a Medicare card. I also have Part B and TFL (TRICARE For Life). I'm often asked to present my Medicare card for care that's covered by Medicare and my military card for care that's not covered by Medicare (but covered by TRICARE.) USAF\Ret

If you have Tricare for Lif that means you are on Medicare. For us it was automatic. You should have received your card if you are over 65.

Contact your Social Security Office to get a Medicare Card.

ty so much for the important info.

Thank you so much for this very important information !!! So very helpful to me and what to look for and watch out for .

great news

Many medical providers refuse service if patients do not disclose their SSN. Providers state they can refuse anyone for non-discloser of required information. Providers state the SSN is required to ensure complete compensation. My question is why should I have to ensure payment of government contracted medical services with my SSN, such as VA Choice, Tricare, or Medicare?

For decades my Medicate card doesn't show the last four digits of my SS number. I "whited it out" and had the card coated in clear plastic. If anyone wants those last four digits, they need to have a valid reason. We never should have been forced to carry our SS number in our wallet.

The Social Security number isn't on the card anyway.

Look again. Are you sure it was your Medicare card you were looking at - or was it is your supplemental insurance card or medical advantage card?

Only numbers with an "A" suffix are actual SSNs. Any other suffix is not the person's SSN.

"A" is the most common suffix as most people get Medicare under their own account not as a dependent.

That is not least not since 2015. I had an T card first and then got the A when I started taking Social Security. Both have the social security number.

yes social security number is indeed on your cards if its not on your card you do not have a correct Medicare card, unless it's new, and you already got one of the new cards, but your ss# was/is your billing/I.D. number, please look into your card, something isn't right

This is not always true, medical biller. The A after ones ss # means they worked theirselves and are drawing Medicare benefits from themselves. They could be drawing on their spouse or parent which would change the number on their card and have a different letter behind it.

This is long over due. Too bad we won't see the cards for two years but glad the change is coming.

I was told in person at the local SS Office, NOT TO LAMINATE MY SOCIAL SECURITY CARD. I told the representative that my mother laminated hers because the paper they are printed on shreads easily on the edges. My question is WHY NOT ? It protects it, the SS Administration will save thousands of dollars not replacing damaged SS cards. What happened to common sense ?

Much like most everything else, common sense is a thing of the past. No one thinks for themselves any more and the government wastes money rather than having to think of a cheaper, more practical way of doing things. Everyone wonders why the deficit is so high.

I think they charge for copies now. I am about to find out because mine is almost unreadable.

You can get up to 10 replacement cards in a lifetime. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request a replacement card, or go to the website, set up your account, and you'll be able to check your benefits, order cards, change your address and phone number, apply for retirement, etc.

Why don't they issue long lasting plastic cards?
A paper card is absurd! I have managed to preserve my old one for 20 years, only because I didn't have use it often.

Why wasn't this made availble before Medicare cards were ever distributed out before now?


Idont carry my mecicare card with me. I was told it wasn't necessary to show my card for anything. I don't understand why every new patient form at every Drs office asks for your ss #

I usually decline to give my SSI # DATE OF BIRTH IS ENOUGH however you have to show your Medicare card they now a days scan it and some make copies its all over the place its Stupid

I disregard the request on paperwork. When they ask for your medical identification, it is on the Medicare card. They can get it from there. For us humans to supposedly be the most intelligent at the top of the food chain, we fail to think a lot of the more important things through.But that's the bureaucracy with all the degrees of higher learning, while those with common sense are completely at their mercy.

What took the SSA so long??

Thanks for the news. I recently got my medicare card and was totally puzzled/worried why my SS # was displayed in full when ID theft/fraud is so rampant and warnings are everywhere in news. And then I got the card with my full SS on it! Scary!Even banking and online shopping institutions have better security practices. If it starts in 2019, how can I protect myself now when I have to use it in upcoming months for doctor appointments?


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