Medicare & Medicaid News for Senior Citizens


Medicare & Medicaid News

Your new Medicare card with new number to remember is in works

Social Security numbers disappear to combat fraud says Medicare

June 19, 2017 – For senior citizens who like change, if there is one, the program underway at Medicare will provide some joy. All the rest may have trouble welcoming it into their lives, because it is giving us all a new number on our Medicare cards to remember. Up until now Medicare has used our Social Security number but this is all changing as part of a new fraud prevention program by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

It plans to remove Social Security numbers from 57.7 million Medicare cards to “help combat identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars.”

 The new cards will use a unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), to replace the Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) currently used on the Medicare card.

CMS will begin mailing new cards in April of next year (2018) and will meet the congressional deadline for replacing all Medicare cards by April 2019. CMS kicked kicked off a multi-faceted outreach campaign to help providers get ready for the new MBI at the end of May.

“We’re taking this step to protect our seniors from fraudulent use of Social Security numbers which can lead to identity theft and illegal use of Medicare benefits,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.