On April 16, 2016, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. Section 501 of the MACRA requires CMS to remove Social Security Numbers from Medicare ID cards and replace existing Medicare Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs) with a Medicare cmslogoBeneficiary Identifier (MBI). The MBI will be a randomly generated identifier that will not include a social security number or any personally identifiable information (PHI).  This will minimize the risks of identity theft for Medicare beneficiaries and reduce opportunities for fraud.

To comply with this statutory requirement, starting in early 2018, CMS will issue new Medicare cards with an MBI to approximately 60 million Medicare beneficiaries, including dual eligibles. A HICN will still be assigned to each Medicare beneficiary to be used for internal data exchanges between CMS and the states. The new MBI will be enforced for all interactions with beneficiary, the provider community and all external partners.

In order for states to fully comply, state Medicaid business processes and systems must be examined and necessary changes identified, developed, tested and implemented prior to CMS assigning MBIs and distributing the new Medicare ID cards. For a smooth implementation for the states, CMS has formed a bi-weekly All-State SSNRI forum call which includes representatives from the Center for Medicare (CM), CMCS, each CMS regional office, and every state, territory and the District of Columbia. These calls will provide CMS with the opportunity to promptly communicate important guidelines and updates to the state Medicaid agencies (SMAs) and for SMAs and their invited key stakeholders to ask questions, share information and facilitate coordination. Questions regarding the SSNRI or the all state SSNRI forum may be sent to SSNRISTATES@cms.hhs.gov

For more information visit:  https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/SSNRI/Index.html


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