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Reminder: Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers Transition Period Has Ended

Reminder: Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers Transition Period Has Ended

As you're completing applications with your clients, be sure to include the correct Medicare ID number, which is now the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have removed the Social Security Number (SSN)-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) from Medicare ID cards to help prevent fraud and fight identity theft.

The transition period ended December 31, 2019 and starting January 1, 2020 you MUST submit claims using MBIs, no matter what date you preformed the service. As a result, Health plans can no longer accept HICN numbers on applications.

Every person with Medicare has been assigned an MBI. The MBI is confidential like the SSN and should be protected as Personally Identifiable Information.

If you do not know the MBI, leave it blank on the application. Do not try to guess the number or fill in the field with other text.

Be aware of these Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) characteristics when entering it on the application: 

  • The MBI has 11 characters, a combination of UPPERCASE letters and numbers
    • Example: 2A22A22AA22
  • The MBI will never include the following letters:
    • S, L, O, I, B, Z (these letters are frequently mistaken for certain numbers)

Entering the incorrect Medicare number or invalid text could delay claims processing by up to four weeks. If we receive an application with an incorrect Medicare ID number, the member will receive a separate letter (at a later date than their policy) requesting their Medicare ID number.