Get Ready for Your New Medicare Card

Medicare is removing social security numbers from Medicare cards. The change is to help protect your personal identity. Your Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same and continue without interruption.

Medicare will mail you a new Medicare card with a special Medicare number that’s unique to you. Your social security number will no longer appear on your Medicare card. People enrolling in Medicare for the first time will get the new card from the start.

New cards will be mailed out in waves from April 2018 through April 2019. Each wave will include mailings to people with Medicare in select states. The table below shows the states included in each wave.

Wave 1

Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia

Wave 2

Alaska, American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon

Wave 3

Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin

Wave 4

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont

Wave 5

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina

Wave 6

Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Wave 7

Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Virgin Islands

Wave 1 and 2 mailings will go out in April, May and June of 2018. The mail dates for waves 3 – 7 will be available as mailings progress. You can check the status of card mailings in your area starting in April 2018 by visiting


Your card will be mailed to you automatically. You don’t have to do anything to get it.

It’s a big project to replace all the Medicare cards in the nation. It will take a little time. In the meantime:

  •  Make sure your new Medicare card is sent to the right address. Your new card will be mailed to the address Social Security has for you. It’s a good idea to check that it’s correct. You can check it online or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, TTY 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Use your current Medicare card until the new one arrives. Begin using your new card as soon as you get it. Your old card can be destroyed once your new one arrives.
  •  Keep using your Medicare Advantage plan member card. Your Medicare Advantage plan card, if you have one, is not affected by the change to your Medicare card. Simply continue to use your plan card as usual. Put your new Medicare card in a safe place when you get it.
  • Stay alert for possible scams. Remember that Medicare will never call you, come to your home or ask for your Medicare number or other personal information. Only give your new Medicare number to your doctor, pharmacist, other health care providers and people you trust who help you with Medicare.

The Bottom Line

Your new Medicare card with your unique Medicare number is a way to boost security for you and your personal health information. Visit for more information about the new card and to learn when yours may arrive in the mail.