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Tips on Getting the New Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI)


To better protect patients’ identities, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) required CMS to remove SSNs from all Medicare cards and to replace them with a randomly generated Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). On January 1, 2020 it became mandatory for providers, physicians and suppliers to use MBIs when submitting claims for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries. Claims submitted with Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs) will be rejected (with a few exceptions). All eligibility transactions you submit with HICNs will also be rejected.

How to Get the MBI

The easiest way your staff can get an MBI is to ask your Medicare patients for their cards when they come in for treatment. If they don’t have a new card with an MBI, you should give them the “Get Your New Medicare Card.” The flyer is available in English or Spanish.

Another option is to use your MAC’s secure MBI look-up tool. (You must be signed up for the Portal to use the tool.) In order to look up an MBI you must have all of the following:

  • Patient’s first name and last name

  • Date of birth

  • Social Security Number (note: The SSN may be different from the old HICN number, which uses the SSN of the primary wage earner. For patients that don’t wish to give their SSN, direct them to log into to get their MBI.)

A third way to find an MBI if you have previously seen a patient and received a claim payment decision based on a submission made prior to January 1, 2020 using an HICN, to check the remittance advice. Every remittance advice submitted with a valid HICN was returned with an MBI from October 1, 2018 through December 21, 2019.

Let Us Manage All Your Payer Enrollment and Credentialing Services

If you require medical credentialing and payer enrollment needs for your practice or medical facility, please contact 1st Assistant. Our experienced and dedicated specialists will provide all credentialing and enrollment services quickly and will monitor your account for ongoing updates and re-attestations. Heidi Henderson, Vice President of Credentialing, is eager to meet you and discuss your payer enrollment needs. Please call us at 512.201.2668 or contact us via the website.


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