CMS to Issue new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers Next Year

Beginning in April 2018, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 requires CMS to remove Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards. In the next year, CMS will generate new identifiers for all Medicare patients, including those who are deceased. CMS is required to do so to address the risk of beneficiary medical identity theft.

CMS will have to generate 150 million Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) for 60 million active beneficiaries and 90 million deceased or archived beneficiaries.

The new identifiers will have the same number of characters - 11, but will now contain uppercase alphabetic characters in addition to the numbers. The key positions of 2, 5, 8 and 9 will always be alphabetic. For example: A former Health Insurance Claim Identifier (Social Security number plus Beneficiary Identifier Code) could be 123-45-6789-A1 while the new MBI could look like 1EG4-TE5-MK73.

To read more, see here.

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