New Medicare Card News

The CMS New Medicare Card (NMC) web page at https://www.medicare.gov/newcard/ keeps an ongoing tally of NMC mailings.  It shows that mailings are now underway for California, Oregon, and Alaska, but have not yet started for other Network 16 states.  The page also includes a sample of the new card, important information about what a patient should do when they receive one in the mail, and important tips on avoiding Medicare scams.

For providers, CMS has also published information on when a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI, which replaces the HICN on the card) can change, and what to do when it does.  Find a summary at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/FFSProvPartProg/Provider-Partnership-Email-Archive-Items/2018-07-05-eNews.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=0&DLSortDir=descending#_Toc518370286.

NMC Mailings to CA, OR, AK

CMS has begun mailing New Medicare Cards to California, Oregon, and Alaska, and to all new Medicare patients, and all new Railroad Retirement Board cards are due to be mailed today, June 1, 2018.  The new MBIs can be used as soon as they are received.  HICNs can be used until December 31, 2019, but everyone is encouraged to use MBIs as soon as they are available.

Patients may not have shredders at home, so to reduce identity theft, facilities are encouraged to help patients dispose of their old Medicare cards carefully as PII or Personally Identifiable Information.  New Medicare Cards and MBIs are also confidential PII.

A new MLN Matters document, New Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI): Get It, Use It has been published to help acquaint facilities with the MBI.  It can be found at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNMattersArticles/downloads/SE18006.pdf.  For more information, see https://www.medicare.gov/NewCard/.

MBI Lookup, RRB Cards

CMS hasn’t mailed the New Medicare Cards to the west coast yet, but you may encounter patients transferring or visiting from areas that already have their new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers or MBIs. You may also have Railroad Retirement Board patients, whose cards have been mailed.  There’s a sample of RRB cards at https://www.rrb.gov/sites/default/files/2017-10/New%20Medicare%20Card%20Sample_0.pdf.

CMS’s top priorities in moving to new Medicare cards and numbers are to make sure that Medicare patients have continuous access to care, and that providers have the tools and information needed to make the change.  To look up a Medicare patient’s new Medicare number, see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/New-Medicare-Card-Provider-Letter.pdf.

Fraud Prevention Resources

CMS has published information about helping patients avoid fraud and scams, which may be particularly important with the release of the New Medicare Cards.

Medicare will never call beneficiaries uninvited and ask for personal or private information to get their new Medicare Number and card.  Scam artists may try to get personal information (like their current Medicare Number) by contacting them about their new card.  If your Medicare patient is asked for their information, for money, or someone threatens to cancel their health benefits if they don’t share their personal information, have them call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

The new Medicare Number is also called the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) and is replacing the current Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on Medicare health insurance cards.  Medicare will continue to accept the HICN through the transition period; see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html#target.  Identity theft resources for people with Medicare can be found at https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-and-resources/identity-theft/identity-theft.html.

New Medicare Card Mailings

CMS has started mailing New Medicare Cards showing new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs).  People enrolling in Medicare for the first time will be among the first to get the new cards.  Current Medicare beneficiaries will get their new cards on a rolling basis over the coming months (see https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/NMC-Mailing-Strategy.pdf for details).  CMS will continue to accept the Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) through the transition period (https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html#target).

CMS is continuously adjusting and improving their mailing strategy to make sure they mail the new cards to accurate addresses, protect current Medicare beneficiaries and their personal information in every way possible, and use the highest levels of fraud protection.  They expect that all Medicare beneficiaries will receive their new cards over the next year.  For more information, visit https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html and https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Providers/Providers.html.

4/5 New Medicare Card Forum

CMS will present an April 5, 2018 New Medicare Card Project Special Open Door Forum.  Mailing of the New Medicare Cards begins this month.  The Forum will include updates about the mailing, new resources for Medicare partners, and information on how Medicare beneficiaries can look up their new Medicare Card number (“MBI” or Medicare Beneficary Identifier), or print a replacement Card on https://www.mymedicare.gov/.

  • Dial-In Number: 1-800-837-1935
  • Conference ID: 7065199
  • Webinar: https://webinar.cms.hhs.gov/r51uia09fgq/
  • The time we have been given is 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm EST.  As they often do, CMS says “EST,” but they probably mean EDT.  They haven’t given us enough advance notice or contacts to be able to verify the time, so we suggest that you check both times, unless you have a contact that can verify it.  12:30 pm EST would be 10:30 am PDT; 12:30 pm EDT would be 9:30 am PDT.  Either way, they want you to dial in at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the call.
  • ENCORE Presentation: 1-855-859-2056, Conference ID 7065199.   Encore is an audio recording of the call that can will be available until April 9, 2018, starting two hours after the call has ended.

TTY Communications Relay Services are available for the Hearing Impaired; dial 7-1-1 or 1-800-855-2880.  A Relay Communications Assistant will help.

For more information about the New Medicare Project in general, see https://www.cms.gov/medicare/new-medicare-card/nmc-home.html.  Send feedback and questions on the Project to Partnership@cms.hhs.gov.

3/29 CW March Newsletter

The CROWNWeb March Newsletter includes stories on:

  • Putting Patients First
  • Upcoming Data Validity & Reliability Study
  • CROWNWeb How To: Resolve a System Discharge
  • Get Ready – MBI is Coming
  • March CROWNWeb Maintenance
  • Announcement of a March 29, 2018 CW Town Hall

Find the Newsletter at http://mycrownweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/March_Newsletter_4_508.pdf.