Medicare Beneficiaries will be getting new Medicare cards with a randomly-assigned, unique 11-character Medicare number in place of the beneficiary’s Social Security number.

The move is designed to thwart identity theft and fraud, as well as inaccuracies in a beneficiary’s medical record.  You will no longer be carrying around your Social Security number, and it’s about time!

The first cards will be mailed in April 2018, with all cards to be replaced by April 2019. CMS says no action is required of the beneficiary and they can use the card as soon as they receive it.