New Medicare ID card mailing completed in California

August 03, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Patient Privacy Public Payors 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently completed mailing new Medicare ID cards to California beneficiaries. The new Medicare ID cards, required under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), contain a unique, randomly assigned Medicare Beneficiary Identification (MBI) number, which replaces the previous Social Security-based number.

CMS has prepared a “Still Waiting for Your New Card?” handout (in English or Spanish) to provide to patients who did not receive a new Medicare ID card. Patients may be directed to the MyMedicare.gov website or to call (800) 633-4227) to determine the status of their new card.

As the California Medical Association previously reported, CMS will allow a 21-month transition period that began in 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 for all Medicare transactions through December 31, 2019.

CMS has developed a webpage to help physicians navigate the MBI transition, including slides from the most recent CMS Open Door Forum on the issue. Physicians are also now able to look up their Medicare patients’ new Medicare numbers through Noridian, the Medicare Administrative Contractor’s, secure web portal. Physicians should also talk to their practice managers and health IT vendors now to ensure their systems are ready to accept the MBI.

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


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