Medical Billing and New Medicare Identification Numbers

The safe exchange of data

What are the new Medicare ID Numbers?

Growing concern over fraud and identity theft has prompted the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to change how Medicare ID numbers are formatted. According to the CMS website (, The Medicare Access and CHIP Re-authorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 stipulates that Social Security Numbers will no longer be used to identify a Medicare participant. Therefore, the current Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) will be replaced by a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).  These will be 11 alphanumeric characters in length.

In April of 2018, Medicare began mailing new ID cards with a target date of December 31, 2019, to complete the rollout. During this transition period, patients may continue to present their old card and ID number to providers.

How will this impact billing for Medicare?

Providers, however, have been encouraged to collect and utilize new MBI card information from patients so as to move away from the older format and promote a higher level of security. During the transition periods, EOBs will come back with the new ID numbers, so it is wise to start updating patient registration with the new numbers

Effective January 1, 2020, Medicare will no longer process claims submitted with the old HICN, barring minimal exceptions.

As a medical billing service provider, we know the importance of understanding the implementation timeline in order to help to make this transition as smooth as possible. At every stage of the medical billing process, from appointment booking to claims submission, proper awareness of this change will be essential to better serving our Medicare patients.  

At AMPM, we pride ourselves on handling patient insurance information safely and effectively, to learn more, please see a list of our services.

For more information on these Medicare ID number changes, please visit

Disclaimer: The materials contained on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. Advanced Medical Practice Management does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site.