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Medicare Beneficiary Identifier Update

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has scheduled an Open Door Forum to discuss Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) cards. The Open Door Forum will be held on Thurs., Sept. 13, 2018 from 2 to 3 pm. CMS intends to update providers on the status of the current transition from Social Security Number (SSN)-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) Medicare cards to MBI, which is required by April 2019. MBI cards were mailed to existing New York State Medicare beneficiaries beginning in July 2018. Patients that do not have MBI cards can use either their HICN or MBI cards through December 2019, when only MBI cards will be accepted. Patients that do not have a new card but feel they should are advised to sign into their MyMedicare.gov accounts to see if their card has been mailed.

Providers should be aware of the three ways to access MBIs. Providers should first ask patients for their new Medicare cards. If the new Medicare card is unavailable, providers should be prepared to use the MBI look-up tool available through Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) portals. Providers must sign up to use the look-up tool. Finally, providers can check remittance advice to access MBIs. Beginning October 2018 through December 2019, MBIs will be returned on every remittance advice when claims are submitted with a valid and active HICN.

To participate in the Sept. 13th CMS Open Door Forum by phone, dial 1-800-837-1935 and use conference ID 7692637. Further participation instructions are available here.

Contact: Ken Allison, kallison@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8820