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SSN Removal Initiative to Replace HIC Number on Medicare Cards

December 26, 2017

On April 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will start mailing Medicare cards with new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) to everyone with Medicare. The MBI will replace the Social Security Number (SSN)-based Health Insurance Claim (HIC) number for transactions like billing, eligibility status and claim status after a transition period.

You must be ready to accept MBIs beginning April 1, 2018. People new to Medicare after April 1 will only receive a card with the MBI.

  • Prepare to use the new MBI format. Ask your billing and office staff if your system(s) will be ready to accept the 11-character alpha-numeric MBI. If you use vendors to bill Medicare, ask them about their MBI practice management systems changes and make sure they are ready.
  • Consider automatically accepting the new MBI from the remittance advice (835) transaction.
  • Prepare to process Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) claims. Ensure your staff can identify the RRB Medicare card: Program your system to send these patients’ claims to the Specialty Medicare Administrative Contractor (the MBI number alone will not identify RRB recipients).
  • Make and internally test changes to your practice management systems and business processes before April 2018.
  • Sign up for your Medicare Administrative Contractor’s portal now so you can use the provider MBI look-up tool starting in June 2018.
  • Subscribe to the weekly MLN Connects newsletter for updates and new information.
  • Attend our quarterly calls to learn more. We will let you know when calls are scheduled in MLN Connects.

For more information:

Additional information is available by calling the Telephone Service Center at 1-800-541-5555, option 5, followed by option 6. Recipients may call the same number and access option 2. Also watch for announcements about this transition in future Medi-Cal Updates.