New Medicare cards, ID numbers coming in April

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is rolling out new Medicare cards beginning in April 2018. New cards will no longer contain Social Security Numbers (SSN), which should help combat identity theft, fraud and illegal use. 

A unique, randomly assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status.

Rollout and transition

New Medicare cards will be mailed out through April 2019. Medicare members may start using their new cards and MBIs as soon as they get them. CMS is providing a transitional period allowing people to use either the HICN or the MBI to exchange data. The transition period will begin no earlier than April 1, 2018 and run through December 31, 2019.

Unaffected by change

The MBI will not affect Medicare benefits.

Priority Health ID cards will not change.


Go to for additional information on the new cards and MBI numbers.