In 2018 150 Million Medicare health insurance claim numbers (HICN) will begin to be changed to new Medicare beneficiary identifier number.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 requires CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards.
Starting April 1st, 2018, CMS will be replacing all Social Security Number (SSN) based Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICN) with Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) numbers. Over 150 million beneficiaries will be affected; including current Medicare beneficiaries, deceased beneficiaries, archived beneficiaries, and new beneficiaries.
By replacing the Social Security based HICN numbers with new unique 11 digit MBI numbers, CMS hopes to better protect private healthcare and financial information. The gender information and signature line will also be removed. This transition is scheduled to be completed by December 31st, 2019. By April 2019, all current Medicare beneficiaries are to have their new Medicare cards.
What is my opinion on this? It will be very chaotic for a while, but this is long overdue as we all know. Now, if they could only make these new cards with plastic vs. paper!!