Health Benefits

Medicare Changes ID Cards to Prevent Fraud

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking a major step to help people with Medicare protect their identities from theft and fraud. CMS is removing Social Security numbers from current Medicare ID cards and replacing them with a unique Medicare number that does not contain a Social Security number.

An increasing number of people age 65 and older are falling victim to identity theft crimes in the U.S. Using a stolen Social Security number is one of the easiest ways a criminal can steal a person’s identity and commit fraud. To help stop identity thefts and Medicare fraud, Congress required CMS to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.

When to Expect Your New Card

CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards without Social Security numbers in April 2018. The deadline for replacing all Medicare cards is April 2019. If you are new to Medicare as of April 2018, you will only receive the new Medicare card.

No Need to Contact CalPERS

As a member currently enrolled in a CalPERS Medicare health benefit plan, you won’t have to provide CalPERS with your new card. We will obtain your new Medicare number directly from CMS. No action is needed from you for the transition to the new identification numbers.

Are you a Medicare-eligible retiree receiving health benefits and not enrolled in a CalPERS Medicare health benefit plan? If so, you will need to enroll in a CalPERS Medicare plan to continue your health coverage through the CalPERS Health Program.

For more information about the Medicare ID card changes, you can visit

For more information about the CalPERS Medicare health benefit plan, visit our Medicare page.