New Medicare Cards in 2018

Why are we getting new cards with new numbers?

The first thing people notice when they open the white envelope containing their new Medicare Card is this:

“My Medicare number is the same as my Social Security number.”

When Medicare started in 1965, it made sense to use numbers already assigned to people in the government system. We now can see how the government numbering system created opportunities for fraud and identity theft.

In an attempt to correct the problem, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail new Medicare Cards to every Medicare beneficiary starting April 2018 and ending April 2019. The transition period from the old to the new numbers ends on December 31, 2019.

The new cards have an 11-digit Medicare number. The numbers are random-generated combinations of numbers and uppercase letters.

Medicare will send your new card automatically to the mailing address they have on file for you. You can check or change your mailing address by going online to or calling Social Security 1-800-772-1213.

Remember: Scammers will take advantage of the transition.

Social Security and Medicare will never, ever call you or email you and ask you to verify your number, address, or any other information.

If you receive a call or email asking for your information, hang up or delete!

If you receive a letter in the mail you’re not sure about, call Social Security 1-800-772-1213 and check it out before you respond.