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Understanding the MBI Format

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Medicaid Updates

new medicaid cards 2018

New Medicare Card Replacement Initiative

Important Update to Medicare Cards

In an effort to combat identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars, the United States Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 directing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove any reference to Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. This mandated national undertaking, formerly referred to by CMS as the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI), is now known simply as the New Medicare Card replacement initiative.

SSNRI medicaid card The focal point of the New Medicare Card replacement initiative is the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) which will replace a recipient's existing SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) currently inscribed on their Medicare benefits card. The MBI will be used for all Medicare transactions including eligibility status, claims, and billing. CMS will begin issuing MBIs and mailing new Medicare cards to active beneficiaries in April 2018 in advance of meeting the Congressionally-mandated deadline. Additionally, inactive Medicare beneficiaries will have an MBI assigned to their historical record but will not receive a new Medicare card.

In preparation for the national transition from HICN to MBI, state agencies across the country are in the process of readying their respective Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) and all associated downstream data systems to support usage of the MBI for "dual eligible" (Medicare and Medicaid) beneficiaries. The New York State Department of Health continues to work diligently to make programmatic changes in eMedNY in support of CMS' issuance of new Medicare cards to New York beneficiaries (currently slated for June 2018). Downstream data partners are expected to make similar programmatic changes to their respective systems and to likewise work in concert with their respective stakeholder communites.

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