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New Medicare cards on the way

Beginning April 2018, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is making a change to its Medicare ID cards and will begin mailing new cards that feature a new number. Medicare is removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and beneficiaries will be assigned a randomly generated number that contains no personally identifiable information. The new ID card mailings will be staggered throughout the year, with completion expected by April 2019. Arkansas residents will begin to see new ID cards after June 2018.

A new, unique ID number will help to reduce Medicare fraud and protect beneficiaries from identity theft. The new ID will be 11 characters in length and is made up only of numbers and uppercase letters.

How does this affect my clients with Medicare?
  • People with Medicare may start using their new Medicare cards and ID numbers as soon as they arrive.
  • The effective date of the new cards, like the old cards, is the date the beneficiary was or is eligible for Medicare.
  • Once beneficiaries get their new Medicare cards with a new ID, they should destroy their old card and start using the new card immediately.
How can I help them?
  • Your clients need an up-to-date mailing address. If their address needs to be corrected, they can contact Social Security at or 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.
  • Tell clients to beware of anyone who contacts them about their new Medicare card. CMS will never ask them to give personal or private information to get their new Medicare number and card.
  • Mailing everyone a new card will take some time — their card might arrive at a different time than their friend or neighbor.