I received the email below CMS this morning and started doing some digging. We’ve been testing beneficiaries and found that MBI’s are on file with CMS but the card hasn’t been mailed so the message isn’t showing up in the eligibility response. Depending on the state you’re in, it may be a while before you see any of the new cards or an indication that they’ve had a new card mailed.
New Medicare Card Project – Important Updates
CMS started mailing newly-designed Medicare cards with the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), or Medicare Number. People enrolling in Medicare for the first time will be among the first to get the new cards, no matter where they live. Current Medicare beneficiaries will get their new cards on a rolling basis over the coming months. We will continue to accept the Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) through the transition period.
During our planning, we continuously adjusted and improved our mailing strategy to make sure we are:
•Mailing the new cards to accurate addresses
•Protecting current Medicare beneficiaries and their personal information in every way possible
We are working on making our processes even better by using the highest levels of fraud protection when we mail new cards to current Medicare beneficiaries. Over the next few weeks, we will complete this additional work and begin mailing new cards to current Medicare beneficiaries.
We are committed to mailing new cards to all Medicare beneficiaries over the next year. For more information, visit the New Medicare Card landing and provider webpages.
Apparently CMS is issuing MBIs for newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries beginning in April. Currently eligible beneficiaries are being mailed on the schedule below.
It’s finally here. CMS will start sending out the new cards with the MBI next week so you’ll start seeing those cards soon. I’ve listed a few things I thought was important about this transition. As I hear more information, I’ll pass it along.
1. CMS will be updating their eligibility system on 4/1 to accept the new MBIs. You should be able to start checking eligibility with those IDs once the maintenance window is over at 12:00 pm (noon) on Sunday.
2. ID numbers for Railroad Medicare members will now be in the same format as all other Medicare beneficiaries. You won’t be able to distinguish them by their ID anymore. The response will return a message indicating that the member is a Railroad Retirement beneficiary.
3. You will be able to send either the MBI or the HICN until December 2019.
4. CMS will return the following message if the beneficiary has been issued a new card :
“CMS mailed a Medicare card with a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) to this beneficiary. Medicare providers, please get the new MBI from your patient and save it in your system(s).”
This message will NOT be returned for beneficiaries that are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.
5. CMS will not return the MBI in a response if the HICN is used in the request. If the HICN is sent in the eligiblity request, the HICN will be returned.
6. CMS will be providing an MBI look up tool that will be available in June. Currently this tool will only be available via the MACs provider portals. CMS is not planning to make this tool accessible to eligiblity vendors like Availity and Change Healthcare.