The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status.
Beginning in April 2018, CMS will start mailing the new Medicare cards with the MBI to all people with Medicare in phases by geographic location.CMS plans to have a transition period where providers can use either the HICN or the MBI to exchange data with them. The transition period will begin no earlier than April 1, 2018 and run through December 31, 2019. Starting January 1, 2020, providers will have to submit claims using MBIs (with a few exceptions), no matter what date you performed the service.
The MBI will be:
- Clearly different than the HICN and Railroad Retirement Board number
- 11-characters in length
- Made up only of numbers and uppercase letters (no special characters); if providers use lowercase letters, the CMS system will convert them to uppercase letters
For additional information on the new social security cards such as Medicare plan exceptions, fee-for-service claim exceptions, time line to roll out the new cards to the 50 states, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico, how the MBI will look on the new card, and how claims will cross over to the secondary insurance, click
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This article is not intended to and does not serve as legal advice or as consultative services, but is for general information purposes only.