New Medicare Cards: Everything you need to know

New Medicare cards start shipping April 2018

by Katie Banks+ on Mar 05, 2018 | 2 Comments

For the last 50 years Medicare IDs included their owner’s social security number.  This is about to change.  In April of 2018, Medicare will start shipping new cards with a somewhat random ID number that won’t give away your SS number. 

Moving forward your Medicare Card Number will be known as your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).  It is a combination of alphabetic letters and numbers. The MBI will always have 11 characters with positions 2, 5, 8, and 9 will uppercase letters.  Here is an example of a new MBI: 1A23C45DE56

If you are new to Medicare after April 2018, you are in luck as your first card should be the new and improved card.  If you already have the old card with the old ID, you will be shipped the new card sometime in the next year. They are predicting this process will take 1 year. Once you get your new card, shred the old one and use the new one right away. 

Watch this video below by the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) to learn more.

Remember: Do not fall for phone or mail scams asking for your old ID card number (or money) to get your new card.

  • CMS will not call you about then new card,
  • CMS will never ask for personal information required for the new card and
  • CMS will never charges a fee for your new card.

Note: Client’s have been calling us at Senior65 asking do they need to notify us of the new ID number.  At this point neither your agent (Senior65) nor your Health Insurance provider need your new card number.  Senior65 will not call you asking for this or any other personal information.

Fun Fact: MBI will not include:  S, L, O, I, B, Z.  Any theories why?  If you have an idea on why they excluded the letter B (but not D or V), comment below.  If you need help selecting and enrolling in Medicare insurance, give Senior65 a call.


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Reader Comments and Questions

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By Lee on April 19, 2018

I have an old card. The article says new cards will be shipped sometime in the next year and the process will take a year. Does that mean I may not get a new card until the end of 2019?

Social Security says that the latest existing card holders will receive their new cards is April of 2019. Since they have issued an estimated 450 million cards since it's inception 50 years ago, it will take about 1 year to get everyone the new cards. Please circle back and comment here when you get yours!
-Eric from

By Martin on April 05, 2018

At last! They have been talking about this for years. Finally we don't have to give out our SS when we go to the doctor/pharmacy etc! Love it!

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