The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated their card design to improve security. Your new Medicare number is no longer derived from your social security number. The new cards use a randomly generated combination of letters and numbers called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) instead. This is an important consumer protection, especially in our era of digital records and data theft. You should still guard your MBI and keep it confidential.
The MBI doesn’t change Medicare benefits. When people with Medicare get their new Medicare cards, they should destroy their old red, white, and blue Original Medicare cards, but they should KEEP their:
- Social Security cards.
- Medicare Advantage plan cards.
- Medicare drug plan cards.
Anyone with Medicare who belongs to a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare drug plan (Part D) should keep using their Medicare Advantage and/or Medicare drug plan cards like they always have when they get health care services or fill a prescription.
If for some reason you have still not received your new Medicare card, you may call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You may also sign in to MyMedicare.gov to get your number or print your official card.
If you need to see a doctor, but do not know your new Medicare number yet, don’t worry…your doctor will be able to look up your new number for you at the time of your visit. Also note that you can still use your current (old) Medicare card and number to get health care services through January 1 of 2020.
As always, we are here to help and can assist you with any issues, so don’t hesitate to reach out directly if you’re having any problems.