Medicare will begin issuing cards without Social Security numbers next year to decrease fraud risks

Would-be thieves will soon have one less avenue to use to snare your Social Security number.

Medicare has been the odd holdout among health insurance companies in using Social Security numbers as the basis for member IDs — and printing those identifiers right on the insurance card. That ends next year.

Under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, the agency is required to remove Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards by April 2019. Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced plans to begin mailing replacement cards with a new "Medicare Beneficiary Identifier," or MBI, starting in April 2018.



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