CMS is removing Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the Social Security Number-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like enrollments, billing, eligibility status, and claim status. Beginning in April 2018, CMS will start mailing the new Medicare cards with the MBI to all Medicare beneficiaries in phases by geographic location. Please note that Pennsylvania is one of the first states on the list to have new Medicare cards distributed.
CMS will be mailing a letter with the new Medicare cards with the following key messages for Medicare Advantage and Part D enrollees:
- The new Medicare card doesn’t replace their plan card
- The new Medicare number is needed to join, leave, or switch to a different plan
- MA enrollees may be asked to show their Medicare cards for hospital services
- Enrollees should destroy their old Medicare card once they receive their new card
The transition period from the current card to the new card will begin no earlier than April 1, 2018 and run through December 31, 2019.
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