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Transition Period for New Medicare Cards Ends in 5 Months!
Posted on: 7/29/2019

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, Medicare claims must be submitted using the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) regardless of what date the service was performed. If you submit a claim using the Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN), which is based on the individual's social security number, CMS will reject the claim, with few exceptions.


The MBI is a unique, randomly-selected 11-digit number using alpha and numeric characters that is replacing the HICN.

You may continue to accept both the old (HICN) and new (MBI) Medicare cards from patients during the transition period, which ends Dec. 31, 2019.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, CMS will only accept claims using the MBI.

CMS offers some tips to help you with the transition:

  • Ask your patients for their Medicare card. If they did not get a new card, offer them the "Get Your New Medicare Card" flyer in English or Spanish.

  • Use your Medicare Administrative Contractor's look up tool to locate your patient's MBI. Sign up for the portal to use the tool.

  • Check the remittance advice. CMS will return the MBI on the remittance advice for every claim with a valid and active HICN.

If you have questions, contact the ISMS Advocacy Team at 800-782-4767 ext. 1470, or by email.

You may also visit CMS' New Medicare Cards web site.

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