Providers & office managers
What do Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) mean for health care providers & office managers?
Using the Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs), helps to protect the identities of people with Medicare and keep them safer from identity theft.
Your practice management systems and business processes should now be using MBIs. If you use vendors to bill Medicare, their MBI practice management system should be able to use MBIs. Also, you can still find out how other health care providers who also treat your patients are handling the transition from HICNs to MBIs to coordinate your systems.
Even though we're not using Social Security Numbers (SSNs) to identify Medicare beneficiaries any more, your own Social Security Number is still used by the Social Security Administration, by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and for tax reasons, like on your W-9.
When should health care providers & office managers use MBIs?
You should use MBIs now.
You must submit all HICN-based claims by December 31, 2019-the cut-off date. Starting January 1, 2020, with a few exceptions, you must only use MBIs on your claims.
We'll continue to accept the Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) through the transition period. During the transition period, we’re:
- Processing claims you submit with either the HICN or the MBI.
- Keeping track of when claims are sent in and other transactions are done so we can gauge MBI usage.
You should use MBIs even if the other health care providers and hospitals who also treat your patients aren't.
Where can health care providers & office managers get more information about MBIs?
- Find more details if you’re a Medicaid, supplemental insurer, or other private payer.
- Find tips for successfully using the MBI, what to do if an MBI changes, and more in our MLN Matters article, "New Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Get It, Use It (PDF)".
- Get training materials from our past Open Door Forums.
- Read our frequently asked questions (PDF).
Where can health care providers & office managers get help with MBIs?
The Provider Ombudsman for the New Medicare Card is your resource to make sure we hear and understand any problems you’re having implementing MBIs. As the Provider Ombudsman, Dr. Eugene Freund will send you information and work inside CMS to settle any implementation problems that come up. Contact the new Medicare card Ombudsman.