Medicare Social Security Number Removal Initiative

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) requires CMS to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019.  A new randomly generated Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number on new Medicare cards for transactions like billing, eligibility status, and claim status.

No earlier than April 2018, CMS will start mailing new Medicare cards with MBIs tomedicare-card people with Medicare. You can ask your Medicare patients at the time of service if they have a new card with an MBI, or during the transition period (April 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019), CMS will return the MBI on the remittance advice when you submit a claim using your patient’s HICN.

CMS tell you in the message field on the eligibility transaction responses when we’ve mailed a new Medicare card to each person with Medicare. Your eligibility service provider can give you this information.

MBIs are confidential and should be protected as personally identifiable information.  Providers must protect the MBI and only share it for Medicare-related business, just as you currently do with the HICN.

Claims forms will not change as part of this transition.  During the transition period, providers can use either the HICN or the MBI in the same field where the HICN has always been reported. You can’t submit both numbers on the same claim. Once the transition period ends, you must use the MBI.

Make sure your staff and PM system vendors are ready for the change.