There are only six months to go on the transition to the New Medicare Card. To help prevent identity theft, the New Card removes a patient’s Social Security Number from their Card and replaces it with a new, randomly-assigned “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” or MBI. MBIs must be protected as confidential PII. All patients should have received their new card by now, barring mailing address problems. After December 31, 2019 billing with the old “Health Insurance Claim Number” or HICN will be disallowed. If your facility has patients that don’t have a New Card, refer to https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/SE18006.pdf for instructions. Railroad Retirement Board Medicare cards are going through a parallel transition.
CMS has reported that more then two thirds of Medicare claims now use the MBI instead of the HIC number. All claims must use the MBI by the end of 2019. Medicare has published two handy references to help:
- New MBI: Get It, Use It, including three ways to obtain an MBI – https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNmattersArticles/downloads/SE18006.pdf.
- Understanding the MBI, a one-page chart for your wall or desktop clarifying how the MBI is coded – https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/Downloads/UnderstandingTheMBI-MLN3657604.pdf.
CMS will present a February 6, 2019 Open Door Forum call on the new Medicare card. For details see https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/FFSProvPartProg/Provider-Partnership-Email-Archive-Items/2019-01-31-eNews.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=0&DLSortDir=descending#_Toc536597350.
When you get your new Medicare card, destroy your old red-white-and-blue Medicare card, but do not destroy your Social Security card, Medicare Advantage plan card, or drug plan cards. If you belong to a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare drug plan (Part D), continue to use these cards when you get health care services or fill a prescription. Dispose of your old Medicare card carefully, as it contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that can be used for identity theft. Your dialysis facility will probably have a shredder if you don’t. New Medicare Cards, and your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier on it, are also confidential PII that should be closely guarded.
New Medicare cards have been mailed to all Network 16 and 18 patients. If you haven’t received yours, call 1-800-MEDICARE. Call center representatives can check the status and help you get your new card. Meanwhile, use your current Medicare card to get health care services. While your old card will be good through the end of 2019, you want to get and use your new card as soon as you can.
CMS has begun mailing New Medicare Cards to beneficiaries in Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Mailings are already complete to California, Oregon, and Alaska. For more information see:
CMS has announced that they will hold a 13 September 2018 Open Door Forum on the New Medicare Card. For forthcoming details keep an eye on https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/OpenDoorForums/ODF_NewMedicareCard.html.
New Medicare Card (NMC) mailings to Alaska, California, and Oregon have been completed. Anyone in those states who did not get a new card, should print a Still Waiting for Your New Card? handout from:
- English – https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Outreach-and-Education/Tear-Off-for-After-Card-Mailing-Ends.pdf.
- Spanish – https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Outreach-and-Education/Tear-Off-for-After-Card-Mailing-Ends-Spanish.pdf.
And then either:
- Sign into https://www.mymedicare.gov/ to see if their card has been mailed. If so, they can print an official card. If they do not already have an account, they need to create one.
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). There might be something that needs to be corrected, such as updating their mailing address.
Mailings to Idaho, Montana, and Washington will not begin till August at the earliest, and probably considerably later. CMS is committed to mailing new cards to everyone with Medicare by April 2019. Until December 31, 2019 health care providers and suppliers can use either the former SSN-based HIC Number, OR the alpha-numeric MBI (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier) on the new cards, for all Medicare transactions.
- NMC Mailing Strategy: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/NMC-Mailing-Strategy.pdf.
- Mailing Status: https://www.medicare.gov/NewCard/.
- NMC information website: https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html.
- NMC backstory: https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/Downloads/TransitiontoNewMedicareNumbersandCards-909365.pdf.
- MLN Matters document on MBI: https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/Downloads/SE18006.pdf.