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New Medicare Cards Offer Greater Protection to More than 57.7 Million Americans

New cards will no longer contain Social Security numbers, to prevent fraud and illegal use.

The new cards will use a unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier, to replace the Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number currently used on the Medicare card. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will begin mailing new cards in April 2018 and will meet the congressional deadline for replacing all Medicare cards by 2019.

Providers and beneficiaries will both be able to use secure look-up tools that will provide access to the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier number when they need them. There will also be a 21-month transition period where providers will be able to use either the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier number or the Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim number to help ease the transition for a comprehensive plan for the removal of Social Security numbers and transition to the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier numbers.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is committed to a successful transition to the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier number for people with Medicare and for the health care provider community. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has a website dedicated to the Social Security Removal Initiative where providers can find the latest information and sign-up for newsletters. CMS is also planning regular calls as a way to share updates and answer provider questions before and after new cards are mailed in beginning April 2018.

If you have Medicare, you can sign up at mySocialSecurity where you can manage your address and initiate the request for a replacement card. For more information, please visit: hhtps://www.cms.gov/medicare/ssnri/index.html