New Medicare Cards
Since Medicare started in 1965, beneficiaries were identified by a card utilizing their Social Security number, often with an ambiguous letter at the end.
That all changes for most current beneficiaries in 2018 or 2019. New beneficiaries never will have their Social Security number emboldened on their Medicare card.
New Medicare numbers are unique and will help protect beneficiaries’ identities.
One major change you’ll notice is that instead of 9 numbers and one letter at the end, the new cards have 11 (eleven) alpha-numeric identifiers. Letters S, L, O, I, B, and Z never are used.
Another thing you’ll notice is that there is no place for a signature. This further deters bad actors who no longer will have a copy of your signature should the card get lost or stolen.
No longer will your name refer to you as a beneficiary. Now you’ll just be a person, with a name, at least on the card.
Technically, the new number will be called an MBI which stands for Medicare Beneficiary Identifier, and although the MBI will be randomly generated, it will have some unique characteristics. The 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 9th characters always will be a letter while characters 1, 4, 7, 10, and 11 always will be a number. The 3rd and 6th characters will randomly be numbers or letters.
You should start using your new Medicare card as soon as it arrives. Destroy your old card immediately. Medicare will NOT contact you about your new card, so if you get a call about your card, hang up and call Medicare yourself to check on the status of your card if it has not been received.
To learn how Medicare works, visit one of our FREE Medicare and Muffins meetings. We have various meetings around Las Vegas, Pahrump, and Reno all year round. These are educational meetings, so they are laid back and pressure free. Join us! Click here to pick a date and time.
For more information on the new Medicare cards, visit the Medicare site here: Info from Medicare.gov