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

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?


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 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.

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 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 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

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?

In the meantime folks, do what I did. Make a copy of your Medicare card, then black out all but the last 4 digits of your SS number. Carry the copy with you; providers will accept it without a problem.

thanks for the info. BUT why does the Govt. have to take 2 years to convert Medicare cards ,how many more seniors have to get scammed before this takes effect.
just give the contract to a private company, but then Banks took all the time to convert to the CHIP system in our cards . I give up .

I just received a card and it still has my Social Security Number?

If your new card won't have your SS#, and doctors and hospitals ask for your medicare, do you still show it? And if they want your #, do you give it to them?

Why are we waiting until 2019.
Let run with it in the next 30-60 days!

I work for the Medicaid Division of the Utah State Department of Health. A couple things:
1. This change is being done by CMS, the Medicare and Medicaid folks - not the Social Security Administration.
2. The new cards will start being printed/mailed in April 2018. It will take them awhile to reprint all existing cards.
3. It can't be rolled out in 30 days because every State Medicaid agency, and many Healthcare organizations need to make computer system changes in order for this to work nationwide.

Postal service employs idiots who misdeliver everything. Fix that first.

Someone want to explain how providers would bill Medicare if they don't have your identifying medicare number....your social security number followed by an "A", for Part A Medicare, for which no premium is charged. Everyone over 65 is automatically eligible for Part A hospitalization coverage. It is Part B for which you pay a premium, that covers outpatient care. It is not mandatory and it is not a "supplement" plan. When they bill Medicare, Medicare will pay an approved amount and if you don't have Part B they will not pay the provider and you will be billed by the provider. Your "co-insurance" is 20% of the Medicare approved amount paid to the provider. a "supplement" plan is either a private insurer for which you pay a separate premium, unless you qualify for a supplmental MediCAID plan which may pay for your Medicare Part B premium, and your 20% co-insurance, based on your income. Low income seniors can get the "low income subsidy" under the "Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries" program, which issues a separate card with an account number on it, not your SS number. Notice on your Medicare statement that there is an approved amount, usually quite a bit less than the provider charges Medicare, and a "what you may pay" column based on whether Medicaid covers the 20% co-insurance. Also notice that you may see a bunch of "denied" coverages, usually because the provider's incorrect coding of the service provided, but you may be incorrectly billed for it and their billing department has to resubmit the claim with correct coding to get paid by either Medicare or Medicaid. I don't know what other letter follows your SS number if not an "A", representing Medicare Part A free automatic coverage for hospitalization.

Additionally, it is a moot point at this point in time to refuse to give your ss number when you have to submit your Medicare card for them in the first place. When they changed this system and use a number other than your SS number on your card, you do NOT have to give them your SS number at all...when they ask for it on your application paper work.

Part A hospitalization coverage is only free for persons who have earned it by WORKING for over 40 work quarters in their lifetime--approximately 10 years of work history. Persons with 30 or fewer work credit quarters can purchase Part A by paying a premium--$413/month in 2017. Persons with between 30-39 work credit quarters have a lower Part A premium--$227/month in 2017.


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