New Medicare Cards Coming

Over the past few years, CMS has been working to upgrade its website and Medicare Cards. Beginning in April 2018, CMS will start to mail its new cards to Medicare participants that eliminate the use of the Social Security number. As part of the change, all of Medicare’s systems and processes will be able to accept the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) although there will be a 21-month transition period when the HICN  (Health Insurance Claim Number) or the MBI can be used for billing purposes. ​

The elimination of the Social Security number is an effort to combat fraud and identity theft.
The new cards will have a unique, randomly assigned Medicare number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) consisting of a combination of numbers and uppercase letters totaling 11 characters.
All Medicare cards will be replaced by April 2019.
CMS makes the following recommendations and steps to prepare for the change:
1.) Verify all of your Medicare patients’ addresses. If the addresses you have on file are different than the Medicare address you get on electronic eligibility transactions, ask your patients to contact the Social Security Administration and update their records.
2.) Test your system changes and work with your billing office staff to be sure your office is ready to use the new MBI format.
3.) Make sure you can access your MAC’s secure portal.
CMS is also offering a printer friendly fact sheet, a tear-off sheet in English or Spanish, posters and other aids to help explain the steps patients and providers can take to prepare.

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