What You Need to Know About the New Medicare Cards

Medicare will mail new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. Your card will have a new Medicare Number instead of your Social Security number.

What is a Medicare card?

Every person with Medicare should have a Medicare card. Your red, white, and blue Medicare card is proof that you are enrolled in Original Medicare. As a Medicare beneficiary, it is important that you have your Medicare card with you when you receive Medicare-covered services.

Each Medicare card includes an identifying number that connects you to your Medicare plan. The number is used for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status.

What is different about the new Medicare card?

In the past, the number on your Medicare card has been your Social Security number. The new cards will have a number that is different from your Social Security number.

The new Medicare cards will not contain your Social Security number. This is the only difference between the old cards and the new cards.

The MBI numbers on the new Medicare cards are unique and randomly assigned to each individual. The number is called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier, or an MBI.

When will I receive my new card?

The new cards will be mailed out on a flow basis, based on geographic location and other factors.

Newly eligible people with Medicare in Ohio will receive their new cards after June 2018.

For other geographic locations, find the expected arrival date here. Everyone should receive their cards by April 2019.

Make sure your mailing address is up to date to ensure that you get your new card. Visit ssa.gov/myaccount or call 1-800-772-1213 to correct your mailing address.

Why are new cards being issued?

New cards are being issued to protect Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers. Eliminating Social Security numbers on Medicare cards prevents fraud, fights identity theft, and keeps taxpayer dollars safe.

How will the new card affect my Medicare coverage?

The new Medicare card and MBI number will not change your Medicare benefits. If you have Medicare, you can start using your new card and MBI as soon as you receive it.

The effective date on the new cards is the date you were or are eligible for Medicare. This has not changed from the effective dates on the old Medicare cards.

After you receive your new Medicare card, you can use your MBI to enroll in a Medicare health (Medicare Advantage) or drug plan.

If you are a Medicare beneficiary who chooses to enroll in Medicare health and/or drug plans, you will still also get an insurance card from your health and/drug plans. Like always, you should use the cards from your health and drug plans when you get health care or prescriptions.

Where can I get more information about Medicare cards?

To learn more about your Medicare options and Medicare card, visit Medicare.gov.

VANTAGE Behavioral Health Solutions, a provider of quality mental health services and treatment for alcohol and other drug use disorders to Summit County adults age 50 and older, accepts Medicare.