You asked, CMS answered: FAQs about the New Medicare card project

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As patients begin to receive new, social security number-less Medicare cards, your agency will benefit from taking several steps to ease your administrative burden as the slow-rolling initiative officially commences.

You can find guidance straight from the horse’s mouth. CMS recently released an updated batch of frequently asked questions related to the new Medicare card project, which replaces the health insurance claim number (HICN) with a new Medicare beneficiary ID (MBI) number.

Based on feedback from the provider and payer community, the updated FAQs provide answers to dozens of questions. For instance, one compliance-related question asks, “How can providers confirm a Medicare patient’s Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) is real?”

The answer?

“Providers can confirm a Medicare patient’s Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) using the HIPAA Eligibility Transaction System (HETS), just like they confirm Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICN) and patient’s eligibility today.”

Other questions pertain to coverage eligibility and the minutiae of the initiative, such as how to process dashes. For the full list of questions and answers, go here: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/NMC-FAQs-5-18.pdf.

Note that the old numbers don’t become obsolete until January 2020.

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