Sharon Hamilton MS, RN, CFDS
Clinical Consultant, Briggs Healthcare
TRANSITION TO NEW MEDICARE NUMBERS
ICN 909365 December 2018
Why is CMS issuing new Medicare cards and new Medicare numbers?
The law requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new unique Medicare number will replace the current Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards. We’re taking this step to protect people with Medicare from fraudulent use of SSNs, which can lead to identity theft and illegal use of Medicare benefits.
When will CMS mail the new cards to people with Medicare, and what is the mailing schedule?
We began mailing new cards in April 2018 and will meet the statutory deadline for replacing all Medicare cards by April 2019. Your patients who are new to the Medicare program starting in April 2018 and later will only have a card with the new Medicare number.
There will be geographical waves of successive mailings. Mailing everyone a new card will take some time. To protect people with Medicare from scams associated with sharing the mailing schedule, targeted local outreach will occur, including outreach to health care providers, before cards are due to arrive in a geographical area.
What do I need to be ready for the change?
Your systems and business processes must be ready to accept the new Medicare number (which we call the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier or MBI in official guidance) by April 2018 for transactions, such as billing, claim status, eligibility status, and interactions, with our Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) contact centers.
There will be a transition period when you can use either the HICN or the MBI to exchange data and information with us. The transition period started April 1, 2018, and will run through December 31, 2019.
Source: CMS Medicare Learning Network. For more information follow the link: https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/downloads/SE18006.pdf