News & Insights

Are You Ready to Accept New Medicare Cards?

January 17, 2018

Are You Ready to Accept New Medicare Cards?

Beginning in April 2018, Medicare cards using the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) number will be distributed to replace cards using the social-security-number-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN). The effective date of the new Medicare cards is the date the beneficiary was or is eligible for Medicare.  

There will be a transition period from April 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019 during which time cards with either type of number will be accepted on claims. However, effective January 1, 2020, HICN numbers will no longer be accepted and providers will have to use the new Medicare cards using the MBI number on most claims with few exceptions. Both numbers will be accepted on items such as:

  • Appeals and related forms
  • Claim status inquiries through date of service 1/1/2020
  • Span date claims (including those that span over 12/31/2019)

The new Medicare cards can be used to enroll in a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan, however, the Advantage and prescription drug plans will also issue a plan-specific insurance card to their insureds that should be used by the beneficiary for accessing their healthcare and prescription services. Remember, although the Medicare card numbers are changing, Medicare benefits are not!

CMS has provided messaging guidelines to help educate the public on the new Medicare cards and numbers. They have also created flyers in English and Spanish, as well as other resources to help promote use of the new cards.
For more information on the new Medicare cards, click here.

Contact LAMMICO Practice Management Specialist, Natalie Cohen, MBA, MHA, at or at 504.841.2727 for more information or assistance.


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