The 2015 MACRA legislation required CMS to remove social security numbers from all Medicare cards by April of 2019 in order to protect beneficiaries from fraudulent use and identity theft.  Social security numbers on cards, which are part of the 10 digit Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN), have been replaced with an 11-digit Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) number.

CMS began issuing these in April of 2018 and states they have completed mailing out the new cards with MBI numbers to Medicare Beneficiaries as of April of this year.

During the transition period, which is set to end December 31st 2019, CMS has allowed for either the HICN or MBI number to be included when submitting claims.

Beginning January 1st, 2020, CMS will reject claims that are submitted with the HICN number. 

As the January 1st deadline comes closer, it’s important to ensure MBI numbers are being used on all Medicare claims and to be prepared for patients who are still using their old Medicare cards.  CMS has provided the following suggestions and tool to help beneficiaries and providers through the transition period:

  • Educate your patients: ask them for their new Medicare Beneficiary card that contains their 11-digit MBI number.  CMS has provided a flyer that can be given to patients here
    • Patients may also access their MBI number by logging into: gov
  • Help your patients find their MBI: Providers can access patient MBI numbers if they won’t or can’t give them. These can be accessed through MAC portals listed here

Additional Resources:

ADVOCATE is working with our clients to implement this change. Many are well on their way making the changeover to full use of MBI numbers, and with continued focus, will be successful with completing the transition by January 1, 2020.

Best regards,

Kayley Jaquet

Manager of Regulatory Affairs