WV State Health Information Assistance Program

West Virginia SHIP

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New Medicare Cards Coming Soon!

Beginning in April 2018, Medicare began mailing out New Medicare Cards to Medicare beneficiaries that include a new, unique Medicare number instead of the current Social Security based Medicare numbers.  West Virginians received their New Medicare Cards during the first phase between April and June 2018.  If you did not receive your New Medicare Card, contact WV SHIP/SMP or 1-800-Medicare!  Click here to learn 10 things to know about your new Medicare card.

What is it? 

In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). This law requires the removal of social security numbers from all Medicare cards by April 2019.  A new, unique Medicare Number (also known as the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI) will replace the current Medicare Numbers based on Social Security numbers on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status.

CMS established a transition period from April 2018 through December 31, 2019.  During this transition period, your current Medicare card or the new Medicare card with the unique    number will be accepted.  After December 31, 2019, only the Medicare card with the unique number will be accepted. 

What will it look like?

The new Medicare card will have a completely different, unique, and randomly assigned   Medicare Number that will be 11 characters long with a mix of numbers and uppercase letters.  This is called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).  CMS is also removing the gender and signature line from the new Medicare Card. 

Medicare has released the design of the envelope, card insert, and letter that will be mailed to beneficiaries.  Click the below links to view each item:

New Medicare Card Envelope

New Medicare Card Insert

New Medicare Card letter

New Medicare Card help in other languages

Why is this change important?

One of the main reasons the Social Security number is being removed from Medicare cards is to fight personal identity theft for people with Medicare. Personal identity theft affects a large and growing number of seniors and this initiative is one way to help protect beneficiaries.  An important note is that you could still experience Medical Identity Theft with your new, unique number if a scam artist gets your new number.  Protect your new, unique Medicare number the same way you would with your Social Security number.  As always, scam artists find new ways to cause harm.  See the below tips for more information to protect yourself from scams.


· Make sure that the Social Security Administration has your current address so that you will receive your new card in the mail. 

· This will not change your Medicare Benefits, this only changes your Medicare number.

· This new, unique Medicare Number is confidential and should be protected as Personal Health Information.

· Remember, CMS and Medicare will never contact you by phone or email asking to confirm your new, unique Medicare number so they can send you a new card.  This is a scam!!

·  You will not need to confirm your current Medicare number to receive a new card, it will automatically be sent to the address on file with the Social Security Administration.

· There is no charge for the new Medicare cards.  Anyone asking for money to issue you a new card is a scammer.  This is a scam!!

· Take your new Medicare card to your appointments and show your providers your new card.

· Only give your Medicare information to trusted entities which should included medical providers, your local SHIP and SMP offices, or family members who you have designated to assist with medical needs. 






What's New

  • New Medicare Cards were sent to West Virginia beneficiaries between April and June 2018, Medicare does not send yearly cards and will not call you about card changes - if you get such a call, HANG UP! It is a scam!
  • Medicare Supplement Plans and Monthly Rate Comparisons (November 2021) is online.
  • Guide to Choosing a Medigap Policy is online.
  • 2022 Medicare Costs - This fact sheet provides the premiums and deductibles for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). It also includes information about the income-related monthly adjustment amounts for Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage).
  • Nursing Home Compare website, rating nursing homes throughout the country, has been recently updated. 
  • Many Medicare preventive services are zero deductible and zero copay. Call 1-877-987-4463 to find out what services are covered. 




Mailing Address:

1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305


Town Center Mall, 3rd Level
Charleston, WV


(304) 558-3317, (877) 987-4463


(304) 558-0004

1900 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston, WV 25305 • Town Center Mall, 3rd Level • Phone: (304) 558-3317, (877) 987-4463 • Fax: (304) 558-0004