CMS Drops a Sneak Peak of New Medicare Cards

New cards comply with laws aiming to protect private information of Medicare beneficiaries through new ID numbers.

CMS has unveiled the design for its new Medicare beneficiary cards, which feature new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) numbers.

To comply with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, CMS had to remove remove the social security number-derived Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. The new cards now feature a unique, randomly-assigned MBI, instead.

As identity thieves target seniors in larger numbers, the new cards reflect effort to protect the identities of Medicare beneficiaries by removing key personal information such as Social Security Numbers. 

“The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identify theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We’re very excited to share the new design.”

CMS will begin mailing the new cards to beneficiaries in April 2018, but will implement a 21-month transition period during which doctors, healthcare providers, and suppliers can use either patients’ HICNs or MBIs.

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About the Author

David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.


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