Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has started mailing the new Medicare cards. The first recipients of the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) cards will be people enrolling in Medicare for the first time, no matter where they live. Current beneficiaries will then start receiving their new cards on a rolling basis over the next several months. During the transition period which will last through the end of 2019, both cards will be accepted by CMS.
The MBI’s are 11 characters in length and are comprised of numbers and uppercase letters. The ID’s are completely random and have no particular meaning. Beginning January 2020, you must file all claims with the MBI information no matter when you performed the service.
For all practices, your staff should start asking all Medicare beneficiaries for their new card at the time of scheduling and/or appointment time. This roll-out will probably take longer than expected, so be persistent and patient. After all, we are finally getting an ID card that helps protect Medicare beneficiaries!