Medicare Changes to Patient ID Cards

Medicare Changes to Patient ID Cards

Starting in 2018 Medicare will be replacing all patients’ ID cards.

CMS will issue new Medicare cards with a new unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) to replace the existing Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) both on the cards and in various CMS systems we use now.

Medicare will mail new Medicare cards between April 2018 and April 2019.  To make this change easier for you and your business operations, there is a 21-month transition period where
all healthcare providers will be able to use either the MBI or the HICN for billing purposes. These new ids are not based on your SSN and are a combination of letters and digits. Your new card will have a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you, instead of your Social Security Number. This will help to protect your identity. There’s a ‘transition’ period where either can be accepted, and patients won’t all receive their new card and ID immediately. You can continue to bill and file healthcare claims using a patient’s HICN during the transition

Things to know about your new Medicare card

  • No need to take any action to get your new Medicare card.
  • The new card won’t change your Medicare coverage or benefits.
  • Medicare will never ask you to give us personal or private information to get your new Medicare Number and card.
  • There’s no charge for your new card.

Starting in the EMR in version 8.4.0 we’ll have a new field for this ID, and starting in CROWNweb version 5.1.3 it can be submitted.

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, requires CMS to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019

Warn patients to watch out for scams

Scam artists may try to get current Medicare Numbers and other personal information by contacting patients about their new Medicare card. They often claim to be from Medicare and use various scams to get the Medicare Number including:

  • Asking to confirm the Medicare or Social Security Number so they can mail a new card.
  • Telling you there’s a charge for your new card and they need to verify your personal information.
  • Threatening to cancel your health benefits if you don’t share your Medicare Number or other personal information.

If someone calls and asks for your patients Medicare Number or other personal information, tell them to immediately hang up and call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).




CMS Website

Medicare Website

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