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Update on CMS New Medicare Cards

Published March 21, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is required to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new, unique Medicare Number will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on each new Medicare card. Starting April 2018, CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare on a flow basis by geographic location and other factors.

These mailings will follow a state-by state sequence. It has been announced that Kentuckians will begin receiving their new cards sometime after June. Additional details on timing will be available as the mailings progress. Beginning in April, Medicare recipients will be able to check the status of card mailings in their area on

As communicated late last year, the AMA has created a webpage to help physicians prepare for the new Medicare card. The cards will significantly impact physician practice workflows, so practices should take steps now to prepare. A downloadable flyer is available for physicians to give to their health information technology (IT) vendors to ensure they have information necessary to transition IT systems to the new Medicare card.

CMS is also providing free color posters, tear-off sheets, and fliers to physicians to help alert patients about the transition to the new Medicare card. Users can register and order the products here.

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