This month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be mailing all Medicare beneficiaries new Medicare cards that remove their social security numbers. The change is intended to prevent fraud and identity theft.
CMS will be mailing the new cards in waves between April and June 2018. The new cards will have the members’ new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) which is effective immediately unless the patient is new to Medicare, in which case refer to the “coverage starts” date on the card. Providers are encouraged to start using the MBI as soon as your patients get their new cards (individuals new to Medicare will only have a Medicare card with an MBI).
Providers can obtain a patient’s new MBI directly from their patient’s new card. A patient’s new MBI can also be obtained from the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) portal for your area beginning in June 2018, when a look-up tool will be available on the MACs portal. Beginning in October 2018, the Medicare Remittance Advice (RA) will include both the MBI and HICN. This will continue through December 2019.
CMS has created an informational page for providers explaining what they need to do to get ready.