Be prepared to answer client questions regarding the upcoming changes to the Medicare ID Card. Beginning April 2018, new Medicare ID cards without social security numbers will be sent to beneficiaries. Through December 2019, providers will be allowed to use either the old HICN or the new identifier. All cards will be replaced by April 2019.
New cards will use a unique randomly assigned combination of letters and numbers that will be referred to as the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The MBI will be an eleven character code so it can easily be distinguished from the nine-digit social security number.
When discussing the change, remind clients that they should not discard the red, white and blue Medicare card until the transition period ends December 2019.