New Medicare card

CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design

Removing Social Security numbers strengthens fraud protections for about 58 million Americans

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gave the public its first look at the newly designed Medicare card. The new Medicare card contains a unique, randomly-assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number.
CMS will begin mailing the new cards to people with Medicare benefits in April 2018 to meet the statutory deadline for replacing all existing Medicare cards by April 2019. In addition to today’s announcement, people with Medicare will also be able to see the design of the new Medicare card in the 2018 Medicare & You Handbook. The handbooks are being mailed and will arrive throughout September.

“The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identify theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We’re very excited to share the new design.”

CMS has assigned all people with Medicare benefits a new, unique Medicare number, which contains a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. People with Medicare will receive a new Medicare card in the mail, and will be instructed to safely and securely destroy their current Medicare card and keep their new Medicare number confidential. Issuance of the new number will not change benefits that people with Medicare receive.

Healthcare providers and people with Medicare will be able to use secure look-up tools that will allow quick access to the new Medicare numbers when needed. There will also be a 21-month transition period where doctors, healthcare providers, and suppliers will be able to use either their current SSN-based Medicare Number or their new, unique Medicare number, to ease the transition.

This initiative takes important steps towards protecting the identities of people with Medicare. CMS is also working with healthcare providers to answer their questions and ensure that they have the information they need to make a successful transition to the new Medicare number. For more information, please visit:

One comment

  1. This card is a good start however I think the government missed the mark. They should have chipped these cards too and or put security codes on the back just like credit cards (maybe they did that). There is no reason the government could not re-issue this card with new numbers as often as necessary. Credit card companies do it all the time and this is exactly what this card is, a method of payment. Of all the things that the government contracts out, they could not find a credit card processor who could come up with a better solution?

    The idea that people will be able to keep their new Medicare number confidential when every provider has weaker procedures and questionable employees than Equifax, I just think the government really missed the mark. I am betting that you will still have to supply your social security number as a second identifier for your old medical records just like the NJMVC asks for your social security number for your driver’s license.


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