The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services removing Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards to prevent fraud, fight identity theft, and keep taxpayer dollars safe.
From the CMMS website:
Why are the new Medicare cards important?
The biggest reason we’re taking the SSN off of Medicare cards is to fight medical identity theft for people with Medicare.
By replacing the SSN-based HICN on all Medicare cards, we can better protect:
- Private health care and financial information.
- Federal health care benefit and service payments.
We’ve often heard from Congress, the General Accountability Office, people with Medicare, and advocacy groups that they want the SSN taken off Medicare cards.
What’s the timeline for the new Medicare cards & what does it mean for me?
Moving to new Medicare Numbers and cards requires a lot of changes to our systems and how we do business. The same is true for you — our business partners.
We’ve already started this work and want to help you shift to the new MBIs by April 2018. Beginning in April 2018, we’ll start mailing the new Medicare cards with the MBI to all people with Medicare in phases by geographic location. The change to MBIs won’t change how we find non-active Medicare beneficiaries. The MBI and the HICN don’t tell us which beneficiaries are non-active, so we’ll keep using the data that does give us that information.