In April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began mailing new Medicare cards to all active Medicare beneficiaries.
All beneficiaries should now be in possession of new cards that reflect their individual Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs). This new number takes the place of social security number-based health insurance claim numbers (HICNs) used in the past.
If you aren’t already submitting claims using the new MBIs, you should be. HICN-based claims will not be accepted after December 31, 2019.
Starting January 1, 2020, you must only use MBIs on your claims (with a few exceptions), no matter the date you performed the service.
What Are MBIs?
As part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, Congress passed legislation that requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to remove social security numbers from Medicare cards in order to protect the identities of people and help prevent identity theft or fraud.
Under the new system, every person with Medicare has been assigned an MBI. Like HICNs, MBIs are a combination of 11 numbers and uppercase letters that occupy the same field in Medicare transactions. The MBI is confidential and should be protected as personally identifiable information.
Medicare patients are successfully using their new cards in facilities across the country. According to CMS, more than half of healthcare claims that are being processed include the MBIs, demonstrating a smooth transition to the new cards.
How To Use MBIs
The MBI can be submitted in the same field that you currently use for the HICN. Be sure you are not submitting both numbers on the same transaction.
CMS is conducting wide-scale outreach to remind Medicare patients to bring their new cards and share them at the time they receive medical care.