What Is a Medicare Identification Number?

A Medicare identification number, also known as an HIC Number, is a unique identification code assigned to each beneficiary on his Medicare card. This number is used both for identification purposes and to confirm or deny eligibility for certain programs and services.

Each HIC number is composed of a claim account number and a one- or two-digit suffix called the beneficiary identification code. The claim account number is the nine-digit social security code of the wage earner who originally qualified for the Medicare benefits, whereas the beneficiary identification code identifies the relationship each card holder has with the primary wage earner.