Medicare card To better protect consumers' identities, the new cards remove the member's Social Security number and replace it with a new, randomly generated 11-digit "Medicare number." (Photo: CMS)

Historically, Medicare ID cards have been stamped with the Social Security numbers of members — currently, about 50 million seniors and 9 million people with serious disabilities. But that's been problematic: If a wallet or purse were stolen, a thief could use that information, along with an address or birthdate on a driver's license, to steal someone's identity.

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