NMC Mailings to WA, ID, MT

CMS has begun mailing New Medicare Cards to beneficiaries in Washington, Idaho, and Montana.  Mailings are already complete to California, Oregon, and Alaska.  For more information see:

New Medicare Card News

New Medicare Card (NMC) mailings to Alaska, California, and Oregon have been completed.  Anyone in those states who did not get a new card, should print a Still Waiting for Your New Card? handout from:

And then either:

  • Sign into https://www.mymedicare.gov/ to see if their card has been mailed.  If so, they can print an official card.  If they do not already have an account, they need to create one.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).  There might be something that needs to be corrected, such as updating their mailing address.

Mailings to Idaho, Montana, and Washington will not begin till August at the earliest, and probably considerably later.  CMS is committed to mailing new cards to everyone with Medicare by April 2019.  Until December 31, 2019 health care providers and suppliers can use either the former SSN-based HIC Number, OR the alpha-numeric MBI (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier) on the new cards, for all Medicare transactions.

Additional resources:

New Medicare Card News

The CMS New Medicare Card (NMC) web page at https://www.medicare.gov/newcard/ keeps an ongoing tally of NMC mailings.  It shows that mailings are now underway for California, Oregon, and Alaska, but have not yet started for other Network 16 states.  The page also includes a sample of the new card, important information about what a patient should do when they receive one in the mail, and important tips on avoiding Medicare scams.

For providers, CMS has also published information on when a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI, which replaces the HICN on the card) can change, and what to do when it does.  Find a summary at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/FFSProvPartProg/Provider-Partnership-Email-Archive-Items/2018-07-05-eNews.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=0&DLSortDir=descending#_Toc518370286.

MBI Lookup, RRB Cards

CMS hasn’t mailed the New Medicare Cards to the west coast yet, but you may encounter patients transferring or visiting from areas that already have their new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers or MBIs. You may also have Railroad Retirement Board patients, whose cards have been mailed.  There’s a sample of RRB cards at https://www.rrb.gov/sites/default/files/2017-10/New%20Medicare%20Card%20Sample_0.pdf.

CMS’s top priorities in moving to new Medicare cards and numbers are to make sure that Medicare patients have continuous access to care, and that providers have the tools and information needed to make the change.  To look up a Medicare patient’s new Medicare number, see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/New-Medicare-Card-Provider-Letter.pdf.

Fraud Prevention Resources

CMS has published information about helping patients avoid fraud and scams, which may be particularly important with the release of the New Medicare Cards.

Medicare will never call beneficiaries uninvited and ask for personal or private information to get their new Medicare Number and card.  Scam artists may try to get personal information (like their current Medicare Number) by contacting them about their new card.  If your Medicare patient is asked for their information, for money, or someone threatens to cancel their health benefits if they don’t share their personal information, have them call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

The new Medicare Number is also called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) and is replacing the current Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on Medicare health insurance cards.  Medicare will continue to accept the HICN through the transition period; see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html#target.  Identity theft resources for people with Medicare can be found at https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-and-resources/identity-theft/identity-theft.html.

New Medicare Card Mailings

CMS has started mailing New Medicare Cards showing new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs).  People enrolling in Medicare for the first time will be among the first to get the new cards.  Current Medicare beneficiaries will get their new cards on a rolling basis over the coming months (see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/NMC-Mailing-Strategy.pdf for details).  CMS will continue to accept the Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) through the transition period (https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html#target).

CMS is continuously adjusting and improving their mailing strategy to make sure they mail the new cards to accurate addresses, protect current Medicare beneficiaries and their personal information in every way possible, and use the highest levels of fraud protection.  They expect that all Medicare beneficiaries will receive their new cards over the next year.  For more information, visit https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html and https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/Providers.html.