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.

NMC Mailings to CA, OR, AK

CMS has begun mailing New Medicare Cards to California, Oregon, and Alaska, and to all new Medicare patients, and all new Railroad Retirement Board cards are due to be mailed today, June 1, 2018.  The new MBIs can be used as soon as they are received.  HICNs can be used until December 31, 2019, but everyone is encouraged to use MBIs as soon as they are available.

Patients may not have shredders at home, so to reduce identity theft, facilities are encouraged to help patients dispose of their old Medicare cards carefully as PII or Personally Identifiable Information.  New Medicare Cards and MBIs are also confidential PII.

A new MLN Matters document, New Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI): Get It, Use It has been published to help acquaint facilities with the MBI.  It can be found at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/downloads/SE18006.pdf.  For more information, see https://www.medicare.gov/NewCard/.

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.