Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Beginning April 1, 2018 (This is Not a Joke)

by  Brittney Murdock, QCC, CMCS, CPC
March 21st, 2018

The law requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new unique Medicare number will replace the current Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards.

The new cards will be mailed in April 2018 and will meet the statutory deadline for replacing all Medicare cards by April 2019. Your patients who are new to the Medicare program starting in April 2018 and later will only have a card with the new Medicare number.

About the new cards:

How many characters will the MBI have?

The MBI has 11 characters, like the Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN), which can have up to 11.

Will the MBI’s characters have any meaning?

Each MBI is randomly generated. This makes MBIs different than HICNs, which are based on the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of people with Medicare. The MBI’s characters are “non-intelligent” so they don’t have any hidden or special meaning.

What kinds of characters will be used in the MBI?

MBIs are numbers and upper-case letters. We’ll use numbers 0-9 and all letters from A to Z, except for S, L, O, I, B, and Z. This will help the characters be easier to read.

How will the MBI look on the new card?

The MBI will contain letters and numbers. Here’s an example: 1EG4-TE5-MK73

•The MBI’s 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 9th characters will always be a letter.

•Characters 1, 4, 7, 10, and 11 will always be a number.

•The 3rd and 6th characters will be a letter or a number.

•The dashes aren’t used as part of the MBI. They won’t be entered into computer systems or used in file formats.

Position 1 – numeric values 1 thru 9
Position 2 – alphabetic values A thru Z (minus S, L, O, I, B, Z)
Position 3 – alpha-numeric values 0 thru 9 and A thru Z (minus S, L, O, I, B, Z)
Position 4 – numeric values 0 thru 9
Position 5 – alphabetic values A thru Z (minus S, L, O, I, B, Z)
Position 6 – alpha-numeric values 0 thru 9 and A thru Z (minus S, L, O, I, B, Z)
Position 7 – numeric values 0 thru 9
Position 8 – alphabetic values A thru Z (minus S, L, O, I, B, Z)
Position 9 – alphabetic values A thru Z (minus S, L, O, I, B, Z)
Position 10 – numeric values 0 thru 9
Position 11 – numeric values 0 thru 9

How will the MBI fit on forms?

MBIs will fit on forms the same way HICNs do. You don’t need spaces for dashes.

Who will get a new MBI?

Each person with Medicare will get their own randomly-generated MBI. Spouses or dependents who may have had similar HICNs will each get their own different MBI.

Sign up for your Medicare Administrative Contractor’s portal now, so you can use the provider MBI look-up tool starting in June 2018.

References:

Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Beginning April 1, 2018 (This is Not a Joke). (2018, March 21). Find-A-Code Articles. Retrieved from https://www.findacode.com/articles/medicare-beneficiary-identifier-mbi-beginning-april-1-this-is-not-a-joke-33398.html

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