CHA News Article

CMS Releases Newly Redesigned Medicare Cards

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week released the newly redesigned Medicare card, which contains a unique, randomly-assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number. To meet its statutory deadline for replacing all existing Medicare cards by April 2019, CMS will begin mailing the new cards to individuals with Medicare benefits in April 2018 .

CMS has assigned everyone with Medicare benefits a new, unique Medicare number, which contains a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. Issuance of the new number will not change recipients’ Medicare benefits.  

Health care providers and Medicare beneficiaries will be able to use secure look-up tools that will allow quick access to the new Medicare numbers when needed. To ease the transition, CMS will provide a 21-month transition period during which doctors, providers and suppliers will be able to use either the current or new Medicare number.

This initiative takes important steps toward protecting the identities of Medicare beneficiaries. CMS is also working with health care providers to answer their questions and ensure they have the information they need to make a successful transition to the new Medicare number. More information is available at