New Medicare Member ID Numbers Begin Rolling Out in April

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will issue new Medicare ID numbers and ID cards to all Medicare beneficiaries between April 1, 2018, and April 1, 2019. CMS is removing the Social Security number-based Medicare ID, also known as a Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN), and replacing it with a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) number that does not contain a Social Security number (SSN) or other personal information. All Medicare ID cards will be replaced by April 2019. Until they receive the new Medicare ID card, Medicare beneficiaries are to continue using their current ID card.

Physicians and other health care professionals need to keep the following in mind concerning the transition from HICN to MBI:

  • There will be a transition period during which either the HICN or the MBI can be used to exchange data with CMS and Humana. The transition period will begin no earlier than April 1, 2018, and run through Dec. 31, 2019.
  • During the transition period, CMS will monitor the use of HICNs and MBIs to see how many physician practices are ready to use only MBIs by January 2020.
  • After the transition period ends on Jan. 1, 2020, physicians and other health care professionals will need to use MBIs on claims and to exchange data with CMS or Humana (with a few exceptions when either the HICN or MBI can be used).

Important notes:

  • Humana will not issue new Humana member ID cards to current members because Humana member ID cards do not contain an SSN-based identifier.
  • Humana does not issue Medicare ID numbers. They are issued by CMS. Medicare ID numbers are not to be confused with Humana member ID numbers, which appear on a Humana member’s ID card.
  • A Humana member’s plan will not change based on CMS’ issuing new Medicare ID numbers and cards.
  • A Humana member’s Medicare benefits will not change based on CMS’ issuing new Medicare ID numbers and cards.
  • Humana is assessing and modifying systems and business processes (where applicable) that will enable the use of the new Medicare ID numbers.

Additional information about the change is available at (opens in new window). A provider letter, fact sheet, poster and pads are available on the CMS website at (opens in new window).