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CMS Issues Revised Medicare Beneficiary Identifier Notice for Medicare Advantage Plans


 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a revised MLN Notice concerning the new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). The initial notice on this topic was issued on May 25, 2018 and has been revised several times since then.

The most recent revision concerns patients in a Medicare Advantage Plan and notifies health care providers that the MBI look-up tool can also be used for these types of plans. All other information in the notice remains the same.

As you know, CMS has completed its mailing of new Medicare cards to beneficiaries in all geographic locations. The new cards carry MBIs instead of the prior Health Insurance Claim Numbers, which may have reflected the Social Security number of the primary wage earner instead of the patient.

Even though this revised CMS notice specifically adds information on Medicare Advantage patients, it’s a good time to review how to get MBIs if your patient does not have their new Medicare card with them:

  • Use the MBI look-up tool which will be available indefinitely. You must sign up through the portal based on your state to use this database. The patient’s Social Security number is required for the search. Beneficiaries may also use the look-up themselves.

  • Check your remittance advice which will show the patient’s MBI through December 31, 2019, which is the end of the transition period.

Beginning in 2020, you must use MBIs for all claims submissions or the claim will be rejected.

Please refer to the complete and most recently updated CMS notice for more information on the transition to MBIs.

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