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New BIC Issuance Complete

July 27, 2005

Statewide issuance of the new Medi-Cal Benefits Identification Card (BIC) is now complete. All Medi-Cal recipients should have a new BIC with a 14-character alphanumeric ID number. Recipients who have not received a new BIC should contact their county welfare office.

Eligibility Verification
Providers should use the new 14-character ID number when verifying recipient eligibility. The eligibility verification system accepts all 14 characters but currently only returns the first 10 characters with the eligibility verification response. Beginning October 22, 2005, the eligibility verification system will return the full 14-character ID number with the eligibility verification response.

Providers are reminded that they are responsible for verifying recipient identity and eligibility prior to rendering services, using the information from the recipient’s BIC. Refer to the Medi-Cal Part 1 Provider Manual, Eligibility: Recipient Identification section, for more information.

Billing and Use of the Social Security Number
Providers should bill using the 14-character ID number from the BIC for which they received an eligibility verification response. The claims processing system accepts all 14 characters; however, the system will only process the first 10 characters until new billing provisions are implemented sometime in 2006. AB 3029 (Chapter 584, Statutes of 2004) requires providers to use the new 14-character BIC ID number when billing and, with a few exceptions, prohibits the use of the recipient’s Social Security Number (SSN). Providers can use the recipient’s SSN for billing (with the recipient’s consent) until notified by Medi-Cal of new billing requirements in 2006.