Everything you need to know about the Medicare MBI Change starting April 2018
What’s going on? Medicare is finally re-issuing Medicare Cards that don’t contain Social Security Numbers to their beneficiaries. For the rest of this post we will refer to that number as the Medicare Beneficiary ID or MBI.
When does this start? In April 2018 cards start getting mailed to Medicare Beneficiaries.
What’s different about these cards? New MBI’s will still be 11 characters long, but will be non-intelligent letters and numbers. Digits 2, 5, 8, &9 will always be an alpha character.
Example: 1EG4TE5MK73 or 1A34B67CD11
Is HDMS ready to accept this new MBI in patient demographics? Yes. In any version of HDMS you are able to put 11 characters that are alphanumeric into a policy number field and will not receive an exception while gathering that information into a ANSI 837 Claim File. Go ahead and start taking these numbers as soon as you get them! This is what we will refer to as Phase 1.
What do you need to do with your Patients? Their cards will be mailed to them via the address on file with the Social Security Administration. Talk with them to be sure that address is correct, and provide a contact number for them to use to SSA or Medicare if they suspect it’s not.
Also consider talking to them about their fraud risks. This has been a very public initiative. Most medical providers who need this information should be able to access their number MBI via a secure eligibility check with Medicare using the old number on file. They should be wary of callers asking for this information unless it’s a trusted source.
What is the next phase? Starting in October 2018 Medicare Regions will begin to “Share” the new MBI with you in your ANSI 835 Payment files along with the original Medicare policy number. During the sharing period and up until December 2019 Medicare will accept claims billed with either version of the policy number.
How will HDMS help us? In a future version of HDMS, when your Medicare checks are Autoposted, HDMS will pull the new MBI number out of the file and replace the patient’s old Medicare policy number with the new one.
We intend to store the old policy number for historical purposes.
We also intend to provide access to a report that will allow you to identify patient accounts where the policy number has not been updated, so that you can manually intervene.
All of the above functionality is what we will refer to as Phase 2.
Phase 3: January 2020 is the cut off date where Medicare payers will no longer be accepting the old policy number. As we anticipate having the new MBI’s inserted into your demographics & transmitted on claims throughout Fall 2018 & all of 2019, we would leave it to your organization to manually review any accounts that you are not submitted claims for via an HDMS report at your discretion.
For additional questions on HDMS System Readiness please contact Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!