New Medicare Card Transition Begins April 1

Source: Emily Hill, PA, AAPM Coding Consultant
Date: March 21, 2018

CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards with the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) in April 2018. The MBI on the new card is effective immediately unless the patient is new to Medicare. In that case, the start date will be on the card.

The new cards are being issued to comply with legislation requiring the removal of patient’s social security numbers from Medicare cards by April 2019. Cards will be mailed in waves based on geographic areas. View the new Medicare card mailing strategy. Targeted local outreach will be provided for beneficiaries and providers before mailing begins in each geographic location.

Your practices business systems must be able to accept the MBI for transactions, such as billing, claim status, eligibility status, and interactions, with your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) contact centers. There will be a transition period during which you may exchange information using either the HICN or the MBI but you must be able to accept the MBI by April 2018. Cards issued to beneficiaries new to Medicare will only have a MBI.

Make sure you are prepared for this important transition. CMS has issued a fact sheet that contains additional information and links to other resources. View the fact sheet.

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