New Medicare Cards

Karen Lee

New Medicare Cards

In 2015 The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into effect and stated that all Social Security Numbers for all Medicare members be replaced by April 2019. The replacement will be via a new unique number. This new number will be called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) and will replace all social security numbers use for: billing, eligibility status, claim status, and other Medicare transaction items.

Each person enrolled in Medicare will be assigned a new MBI and mailed a new Medicare card. The MBI will act as a Social Security Number and should be protected. Beginning in April 2018, Medicare will start mailing the new Medicare cards (to include the new MBI number) to all Medicare enrolled patients. These cards will be mailed by phases in geographic locations. MBI numbers will only be used for active patients. Past patients (non-active Medicare members) will need to be located using their Social Security Number information.

There will be a transition period where billers and providers may use either the MBI or Social Security Number information when submitting claims. Testing will run April 1, 2018 thru December 31, 2019. After January 1, 2020 Social Security Numbers will no longer be accepted for claims and all MBI data will need to be used.

MBIs will be 11 characters in length and made up of only numbers and uppercase letters. MBIs will be randomly generated and have no hidden or special meaning. See the example card below.


Medicare will never call you and ask for your personal information. Medicare does all its patient contacting via mailed correspondence. Only give out your personal information on the phone if you have called the Medicare contact number directly!