The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began mailing out new Medicare cards in April this year. These cards will be mailed to all beneficiaries across the country in waves. These waves are planned to take place over the next 20 months, with the final wave arriving in December 2019. The main reason for this is identity theft.
The new cards will no longer have beneficiaries’ Social Security Numbers (SSN) on them. Instead, each person will be given a Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN). This way, if a card ever gets lost or stolen, the person’s entire financial identity won’t be put in jeopardy. This change comes after years of requests from advocacy groups and government agencies.
For the time being, you can still use your social security number when making claims. Once January 2020 rolls around, that will no longer be the case. With a couple of exceptions, you will need to start using your new HICN at that point.
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