Skip to Main Content
Main Content

Providers & office managers

What do the new Medicare cards 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 the new 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 for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and tax reasons, like on your W-9.

Learn, in English or Spanish, what you need to do now and see a timeline of what’s next.

When should health care providers & office managers use MBIs?

Now that nearly all patients have their new Medicare cards & MBIs

You should use MBIs now. The effective date of the new cards is the date beneficiaries are eligible for Medicare.

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.

Now that we've mailed new Medicare cards, people new to Medicare are only assigned an MBI. Your systems must be ready to use MBIs for these patients.

*UPDATED* We must get all HICN-based claims by December 31, 2019-the cut-off date. After the transition period ends on December 31, 2019, with a few exceptions, you must use MBIs on your claims.

You can start using the MBIs even if the other health care providers and hospitals who also treat your patients haven’t.

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".

Learn more about using the MBI.

Where can health care providers & office managers get more information about the new Medicare cards?

Where can health care providers & office managers get help with the new Medicare cards?

The Provider Ombudsman for the New Medicare Card is your resource to make sure we hear and understand any problems you’re having implementing the new Medicare cards. As the Provider Ombudsman, Dr. Eugene Freund will send you information about the new Medicare cards and work inside CMS to settle any implementation problems that come up. Contact the new Medicare card Ombudsman.


MAC Provider Portal URLs   New Medicare card Home