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New Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) Ready for Use

Source: Emily Hill, PA, AAPM Coding Consultant
Date: May 9, 2018

Some Medicare beneficiaries are receiving new Medicare cards with new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs). The MBIs are 11 characters in length and will use randomly selected numbers and upper case letters. The new cards and numbers are being issued in phases by geographic location. It is important to begin using the new MBIs for claims and other transactions once your patient receives the new Medicare card.

Medicare patients in the following locations will receive new cards beginning this month:

  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Alaska
  • American Samoa
  • California
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oregon

CMS is encouraging practices to ask patients with Medicare for their new cards and to begin using the new number for all transactions. View the geographic phase-in schedule. All patients will receive new cards by April 2019.

No later than June 2018, CMS will have a Medicare Administrative Contractors' secure MBI look-up tool so that practices can locate patients' new MBIs. You can sign up for the portal to use the tool now.

Starting in October 2018 through the end of the transition period (April 1, 2018-December 31, 2019), Medicare will return the MBI on every remittance advice when you submit claims with valid and active HICNs (Health Insurance Claim Numbers).

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