In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Re-authorization Act. One of the main goals of the legislation was to protect medical identity. There are several ways in which the legislation addresses this goal. First of all, each Medicare and Medicaid member will receive a new identification number. This number will replace the social security number as a method of identification. The name for this ID is the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). In addition, the government will issue new Medicare cards. These new cards remove the social security number and replace it with the MBI. As a result, it should be more difficult to obtain health information from a lost or stolen Medicare card. The government began mailing the new cards in April of 2018.
There will be a transition period from April 2018 to the end of December 2019. During that time, either the old or the new cards are acceptable to use when submitting claims. Starting on January 1st, 2020, however, all claims need to be submitted using the new cards. It is therefore very important to make sure you receive your new card by then. Please note that while not necessary, you can start using your new card right away.
In conclusion, there are no current action items you need to take. If you are receiving Medicare, watch for the new cards in the mail. It could take some time for them to arrive. If you have questions, please contact Linda Presler. She can be reached by phone at 612-492-9389, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org