Since the start of the Medicare program, Health Insurance Claim Numbers, or HICNs, have always included Social Security Numbers (SSNs). Because of increased concerns about medical identity theft, that’s all changing.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be required to remove SSNs from all Medicare cards by April 2019. A new unique alpha-numeric MBI number will replace the SSN-based HICNS on the new Medicare cards. This new MBI does not use SSNs and will help lower their risk of identity theft.
Medicare patients don’t need to do anything to get a new card; one will automatically be sent to all Medicare patients. Patients can keep using their current card until a new one arrives. These cards look similar to the current red, white and blue card, with one big difference: a new MBI.
Once your patients receive the new card, they should shred the old one. “Patients can protect themselves by making sure no one can get their personal information from their old Medicare card.” Please note this change does not affect the AvMed Member ID number.
“Patients should beware of anyone who contacts them about their new Medicare card. AvMed will never ask our Members, your patients, to give them personal or private information to get their new Medicare number and card.”
For more information, call AvMed Provider Services Center at 1-800-452-8633 or email Provders@AvMed.org.