CMS unveils new Medicare Beneficiary Identification cards

October 09, 2017

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently unveiled the newly designed Medicare card, which will contain the unique, randomly assigned Medicare Beneficiary Identification (MBI) number replacing the current Social Security-based number. 

CMS will begin mailing the new cards to people with Medicare benefits in April 2018, with the deadline for replacing all existing Medicare cards by April 2019 as required under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). CMS will allow a 21-month transition period beginning no sooner than April 2018, where health care providers will be able to use either the patient’s current Medicare number or the patient’s new Medicare number.

CMS has developed a new web page to help physicians navigate the transition to the new MBI number, including a recently developed resource on how to talk to your Medicare patients about the new Medicare card. Physicians should also talk to their practice managers and health IT vendors now to ensure their systems will be ready to accept the MBI.

For more information, please visit www.cms.gov/newcard.


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