Medicare Beneficiary Identifier Replaces Social Security Number for SPA Claims

    The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) required CMS to remove SSNs from all Medicare cards by April 2019. CMS has issued CMS beneficiaries with a new, randomly generated “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” [“MBI”]. Starting January 1, 2020, you should use the new MBI for all communications with CMS concerning Secondary Payer Act compliance.  An outline of the MBI implementation can be found in this MLN Matters Article. While there will be a transition period, here are some practice tips:


1.     Get the client’s MBI at intake. If they don’t have one yet, help them get one by following the process here. English (PDF).

2.     Advise clients it’s ok to carry their cards with them since they no longer show their SSN, posing an ID theft risk.

3.     Refuse to provide plaintiff’s Social Security Number to the liability carrier. Instead, provide the MBI for use in reporting under the SMART Act. 


    Medicare compliance is difficult enough as is it is.  The transition period will, in some instances, be painful. Get started now putting good practice procedures in place and ease the pain for you and your clients. 


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