(from MAA Secretary Sean Patrick Tyler)
In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. This law requires the removal of Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards by April 2019. This new initiative is referred to as the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI). The new Medicare card will have a completely different and randomly assigned identifier that will be 11 characters long with a mix of numbers and uppercase letters. This is called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). Starting around April 2018, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will start mailing out the new Medicare cards in phases, since there are approximately 60 million beneficiaries on Medicare. If a beneficiary is new to Medicare after April 2018, the beneficiary will receive the new MBI Medicare card.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) established a transition period from April 2018 through Dec. 31, 2019. During this transition period, either the current Medicare card or the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier card will be accepted. After Dec. 31, 2019, only the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier card will be accepted.