New Medicare Card Coming. Are You Ready?

March 7, 2018

Your Medicare card is changing. Starting April 2018, Medicare will start mailing new Medicare cards to beneficiaries. The new card, which replaces your current card, will contain a unique beneficiary number in place of your Social Security number on your current card. Medicare hopes this change, required by a 2015 law, will help protect your Social Security number from identify thieves.

While the new card will replace your current card, your benefits will not change. Once you receive your new card, you may start using it the same way you always have, seeing your same doctors, and receiving the same health services. To see a sample of the new card, click here.

What do you need to do?

  1. Make sure Medicare and Social Security have your current address. To change your address, log into, or phone the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. For TTY, phone 1-800-325-0778.
  2. Wait for your new card. Medicare will begin mailing the free cards in April 2018. Beneficiaries in DC, MD, and VA will receive their cards first (sometime between April 2018 and June 2018). Beneficiaries in other parts of the country will receive their cards on a rolling basis between June 2018 and April 2019. If you do not receive your card by the expected date, contact Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. For TTY, phone 1-800-325-0778.
  3.  Once you receive your new card, destroy your current card. Use your new card as you would your old one.
  4. Keep your new card safe. Like your Social Security number, your new beneficiary number is unique to you.
  5. Beware of scams. Medicare warns beneficiaries against responding to anyone asking for personal information or money in exchange for a new Medicare card. Medicare also warns about scammers threatening to cancel beneficiaries’ coverage unless personal information or money is provided. If you have questions, or if you were contacted by scammer, phone Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.

Want to learn more? Watch this short video or visit Medicare’s New Medicare Card website.