Medicare ID Cards 2018

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 (PL 114-10 s.501) included a mandate to remove the current Health Insurance Claim number (HICN) from Medicare cards by April 2019.

Beginning in April 2018, the current Social Security Number-based HICN will be replaced with a new Medicare number. Medicare will mail new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019. New cards will have a Medicare number that’s unique to the member, instead of their Social Security Number. This will help to protect their identity.

The letter being mailed with the new Medicare cards includes the following key messages for Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plan enrollees:

  • The new Medicare card doesn’t replace their health plan card.
  • The new Medicare number is needed to join, leave, or switch to a different plan.
  • MA enrollees may be asked to show their Medicare cards for hospital services.
  • Enrollees should destroy their old Medicare card once they receive their new card.
For information about the project, direct enrollees to the Medicare website at