In 2019 the CMS replaced the old Medicare cards; the newer cards have slightly different features.
If Medicare beneficiaries need to update or change any contact information they may do so online, calling the Social Security Administration, or visiting their local SSA office.
If a Medicare ID card is lost, stolen or forgotten, healthcare providers can perform a Medicare ID number lookup to obtain a Medicare beneficiary identifier number at the same time of the appointment.
The Medicare card that’s issued by the government to all enrollees includes a name, and the dates that your Original Medicare plan and Medicare insurance began. This card serves as proof of insurance with a printed number that should be given to healthcare related entities that work with Medicare. It is important to understand the function of the card, where to go to replace it and where to locate the Medicare ID number on a new Medicare card.
What Features are Included on the New Medicare ID Card?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) replaced the old Medicare cards starting in 2019 and continued mailing them to Medicare beneficiaries for several months. The replacement of your old Medicare red, white and blue card was in response to The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which ordered the replacement of the original cards some basic features include:
- The new card does not list your social security number to better protect your identity.
- The new Medicare ID number is called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).
- The Medicare number is a combination of 11 characters. The numbers and letters on the cards are randomly generated characters.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services explains that there is no hidden meaning to the number, which resolves questions people have about a hidden meaning to their unique Medicare ID number.
How the Medicare ID number is Generated and How to Read it
The CMS uses the card number 1EG4-TE5-MK73 as an example and explains that the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier includes:
- The 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 9th characters are always upper-case letters.
- The 1st, 4th, 7th, 10, and 11th characters are always numbers.
- The 3rd and 6th characters are letters or numbers.
- The letters S, L, O, I, B, and Z are not used on the new Medicare numbers to avoid confusion, such as distinguishing between the number 0 and the letter O.
The new Medicare red, white and blue card shows if you have Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan and its related Advantage card continue to carry it along with your new Medicare card.
How Do I Change My Contact Information?
Changing your contact information is a simple process. Some ways to do so include:
- Report a change of address or a change of name by calling the Social Security Administration (SSA), even if you do not receive Social Security benefits. Call 1-800-772-1213 or visit your local Social Security Administration office.
- Enrollees also have the option to report a change in their contact information or a name change online. Create a “my Social Security account” and use the personalized tools at any time.
- Change your address by clicking on the My Profile tab on your “my Social Security page” and follow the instructions.
- You may not use this service if you do not have a U.S. mailing address or if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
How Do I Get a Medicare Replacement Card?
If your Medicare ID card gets lost or stolen there are some easy options to get the replacement:
- Get a replacement Medicare card by logging into or creating an account to print an official copy of your Medicare ID card with your official Medicare ID number.
- Medicare beneficiaries also have the option to call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to obtain a Medicare replacement card.
- Printing an extra card for your own benefit or if you lose your card is recommended.
Medicare advises beneficiaries to protect their Medicare ID number like a credit card. Do not share your Medicare ID number with anyone over the phone, by email, or in-person unless it is your trusted healthcare provider.
Can I Still See My Doctor if I Do Not Have My New Medicare ID Card?
Do not miss an appointment with your doctor or another healthcare provider if you lost your Medicare card or if someone stole your Medicare ID card. Physicians, Medicare durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers, and other Medicare providers received a special letter that informed them about the new Medicare cards.
Healthcare providers can perform a Medicare ID number lookup to obtain a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier number if the patient does not bring their card to the appointment.