CMS Issuing new Medicare ID Cards

CMS BULLETIN:  Medicare cards (SSNRI cards)

Medicare replacement cards:  CMS is removing Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards to help fight identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars. In previous messages, CMS said that providers must be ready by April 2018 for the change from the Social Security Number based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) to the randomly generated Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (the new Medicare number). Up to now, they referred to this work as the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI).  Moving forward, they will refer to this project as the “New Medicare Card.”  No acronym yet

To help you find information quickly, CMS designed a new homepage to provide the latest details, including how to talk to Medicare patients about the new Medicare Card. Bookmark the New Medicare Card homepage Remember, providers need to be ready by April 1, 2018.

CMS plans to have a transition period where either the HICN (Health Insurance Claim Number) or the MBI (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier) may be used to exchange data with CMS. The transition period will begin no earlier than April 1, 2018 and run through December 31, 2019.


  • HICN Health Insurance Claim Number
  • MBI Medicare Beneficiary Identifier
  • During the transition period, they will monitor the use of HICNs {Health Insurance Claim Number) and MBIs (Medicare Beneficiary Identifier) to see how many providers are ready to use only MBIs by January 2020.  They will also actively monitor the transition and adjustment to the new MBIs to make sure of their wide-spread adoption so Medicare operations aren’t interrupted.

    After the transition period ends on January 1, 2020, providers will need to use MBIs on claims with a few exceptions when using either the HICN or MBI. See the CMS website for the exceptions.