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MLN Connects® Special Edition for Tuesday, December 17, 2019

New Medicare Card Transition Ends in 2 Weeks: Use MBIs Now to Get Paid January 1

The 21 month Medicare Beneficiary identifier (MBI) transition period ends in two weeks. Update your patients’ records and use MBIs now. Starting January 1, you must use MBIs to bill Medicare regardless of the date of service:

  • We will reject claims submitted with Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs) with a few exceptions
  • We will reject all eligibility transactions submitted with HICNs

Need the MBI?

We encourage people with Medicare to carry their cards with them since we removed the Social Security Number-based number; if your patients do not bring their Medicare cards with them:

  • Give them the Get Your New Medicare Card flyer in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF).
  • Use your Medicare Administrative Contractor’s look-up tool. Sign up (PDF) for the Portal to use the tool.
  • Check the remittance advice. Until December 31, we return the MBI on the remittance advice for every claim with a valid and active HICN.

MBI on a Patient’s Card Doesn’t work?

Medicare beneficiaries, their authorized representatives, or CMS can ask to change MBIs; for example, if the number is compromised. It is possible your patient will seek care before getting a new card with the new MBI. 

If you get an eligibility transaction error code (AAA 72) of “invalid member ID,” your patient’s MBI may have changed.  

  • Do a historic eligibility search to get the termination date of the old MBI.
  • Get the new MBI from your Medicare Administrative Contractor’s secure look-up tool.  Sign up (PDF) for the Portal to use the tool.

See the MLN Matters Article (PDF) for answers to your questions on using MBIs.

Posted 12/17/2019

Last Modified: 12/17/19
MLN Connects® Special Edition for Tuesday, December 17, 2019
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