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Tips about your New Medicare Card in 2020


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Summary: New Medicare cards replace Social Security numbers with Medicare beneficiary identifiers (MBI). If you have coverage through the federal Medicare program, start using your new Medicare card before January 1, 2020. Here are sample Medicare cards and tips for use.

Start using your new Medicare card immediately if you have insurance from the federal Medicare program.

You may be one of the more than 61 million people who received a new Medicare card in the mail in the last two years. Medicare removed Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards and is now using Medicare beneficiary identifiers (MBIs). Medicare officials say the change to MBIs will help keep you safe from identity theft and fraud. This is an important reason to use your new Medicare card and to destroy your old card. Also, doctors and hospitals can’t file medical claims with the old identification numbers after December 31, 2019.

Features of the new Medicare card

The look of the new Medicare card

New Medicare Card

  • The Medicare card is redesigned using the trademark red, white and blue.
  • It is printed on paper card stock to make the Medicare card easy for health care providers to copy and easy to replace.

Information about you on the new Medicare card

New Medicare Card

  • Your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) is unique to you. Instead of using your Social Security Number, your MBI is a combination of 11 numbers and letters printed on the Medicare card.
  • Your legal name appears on the Medicare card.

Information about your Medicare coverage on the new Medicare card

New Medicare Card

  • Your Medicare card shows if you have Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B and the start dates of coverage.
  • The Railroad Retirement Board appears on the red band of the new card if that is how you receive your Medicare coverage.

New Medicare card images provided by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA).

Tips for using your new Medicare card

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offers tips to people with Medicare on how to use your new card and what to do if you need a replacement card.

  • Be sure to show your new Medicare card at the doctor’s office or medical facility. Your health care providers need your MBI number so that they can do routine things with Medicare, such as file medical claims on your behalf.
  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, be sure to carry your Part D Plan card and show it at the pharmacy when you pick up prescriptions.
  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, the Medicare Advantage plan’s card is your main card for health care services. Be sure to carry your Medicare Advantage plan card and show it whenever you receive care.
  • Even if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, providers may ask to see your new Medicare card to record your MBI. You may want to carry your Medicare card. If you don’t, you or your provider can look up your MBI. You can log into www.mymedicare.gov to get your MBI once you have set up an account. Your doctor’s office can access a secure web site portal hosted by the regional Medicare Administrative Contractor to get your MBI.
  • You can call 800-MEDICARE (633-4227) 24 hours a day 7 days a week (TTY/TTD users can call 1-877-486-2048) if you didn’t receive your new Medicare card or you need a replacement. You can also go online and log into your mymedicare.gov account and print a copy of your new Medicare card.

Keep your new Medicare card in a safe place, just as you do your credit cards. Even though Social Security Numbers have been removed from the new Medicare cards, your Medicare card could be misused to obtain Medicare benefits fraudulently if it is lost or stolen. If you do lose it or suspect your Medicare card was stolen, contact Medicare. Also watch your explanations of benefit, which describes claims paid. Look for and report any claims for services or items you didn’t receive. Report suspicious activities to your Medicare plan.

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