New Medicare Cards in 2018

Excerpt from 2018 Health Care Choices for Minnesotans on Medicare

Medicare will be issuing new Medicare cards next year. The new cards will have a new Medicare number that is unique to you, instead of using your Social Security number. This change will help to prevent fraud, fight identity theft and protect private information.

  • Those on Medicare will automatically receive a new card mailed to the address that Social Security has on file. Contact Social Security if you need to verify your address.
  • People will start receiving new Medicare cards in April 2018.
  • All Medicare cards will be replaced by April 2019.
  • New Medicare cards will be issued with a new unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).
  • The MBI will replace the existing Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) both on the cards and in various government and health care systems.
  • Railroad Retirement Board retirees will also receive new cards.
  • Healthcare providers will be able to look up the new MBI through a secure tool at the point of service.
    • There will be a 21-month transition period where all healthcare providers will be able to use either number for billing purposes.

Call the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 if you have questions about the new Medicare cards or for free help with other Medicare-related issues.

The Senior LinkAge Line is a free statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging. The Senior LinkAge Line is the federally-designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Minnesota and is the place to call for Medicare and health insurance issues. Call 1-800-333-2433 for assistance or go to® to chat live with a Senior LinkAge Line specialist.

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