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New Medicare ID Cards Start Arriving in April

February 15, 2018

As we alerted you late in 2017, CMS is removing Social Security Numbers (SSN) also known as the HICN, from all Medicare ID cards by April 2019 and replacing the SSNs/HICN with a Medicare Beneficiary Identification Number (MBI). CMS will begin mailing the New Medicare ID cards in April and continue until sometime this summer.

CMS will use an MBI generator to assign 150 million Medicare Beneficiary Identification Numbers for active and deceased/archived beneficiaries, as well as generate a unique MBI for each new Medicare beneficiary. The new MBI numbers will replace the Social Security Number, thereby better protecting private health care and financial information, as well as Federal health care benefit and service payments.

CMS has announced that the first enrollees to get the new cards will be those in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The last enrollees to get the new cards later in the summer will be those in Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Tennessee and the Virgin Islands.

CMS has granted a transition period that will end December 31, 2019. After the transition period ends, only MBIs will be accepted and transmitted.

All stakeholders including brokers, agents and agencies, must adjust their processes in order to accommodate both the MBI and HICN during the transition period. Some beneficiaries will provide you with their HICN and some will provide the new MBI. Everyone who submits or receives transactions containing the HICN must modify their processes and systems to be ready to submit and receive the MBI by April 1, 2018. During the transition period, you may submit either the MBI or HICN, but must be prepared to fully comply with the SSNRI on December 31, 2019.

What will the MBI look like?

Example MBI
 

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