- Your new card will automatically come to you. You don’t need to do anything as long as your address is up to date. If you need to update your address, visit your mySocial Security account.
- Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity.
- Your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same.
- Mailing takes time. Your card may arrive at a different time than your friend’s or neighbor’s.
- Your new card is paper, which is easier for many providers to use and copy.
- Once you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old Medicare card and start using your new card right away.
- If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO), your Medicare Advantage Plan ID card is your main card for Medicare—you should still keep and use it whenever you need care. However, you also may be asked to show your new Medicare card, so you should carry this card too.
- Doctors, other health care providers and facilities know it’s coming and will ask for your new Medicare card when you need care, so carry it with you.
- Only give your new Medicare Number to doctors, pharmacists, other healthcare providers, your insurers, or people you trust to work with Medicare on your behalf.
- If you forget your new card, you, your doctor or other health care provider may be able to look up your Medicare Number online.
Watch out for scams
Medicare will never call you uninvited and ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card. Scam artists may try to get personal information (like your current Medicare Number) by contacting you about your new card. If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your personal information, hang up and call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Learn more about the limited situations in which Medicare can call you.
New Medicare Card Mailing Strategy
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is required to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new, unique Medicare Number is replacing the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on each new Medicare card.
Starting April 2018, CMS is mailing new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare on a flow basis, based on geographic location and other factors. Learn when your new Medicare card will mail by geographic location.