The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working on a fraud prevention action that aims at removing Social Security digits from Medicare cards to better fight identity stealing, and safeguard hard-earned taxpayer dollars. The new cards are expected to use a unique, randomly assigned figure called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), to exchange the Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) which is currently in use on the Medicare card. CMS will start distributing new cards in April 2018 and will adhere to the congressional deadline for exchanging all Medicare cards by April 2019. Now, CMS takes off an all-purpose outpace campaign to support providers in getting ready for the latest MBI.
“We’re considering this step to guard our seniors against a dishonest use of Social Security numbers which can bring identity stealing and unlawful use of Medicare benefits to pass,” told CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We want to be certain that Medicare receivers and healthcare providers comprehend these changes well in advance and possess the information they require to make a seamless transformation.”
Providers and receivers will both be able to use protected lookup tools that will allow prompt access to MBIs when they need them. There will additionally be a 21-month transformation period where providers will be able to use either the HICN or the MBI further facilitating the transition.