CMS Clarifies New Medicare Beneficiary Identifier

PUBLISHED: Feb 14, 2019
Relevant to: All Healthcare Organizations

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is clarifying that the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) on the new Medicare cards use numbers 0-9 and all uppercase letters except for S, L, O, I, B, and Z.

CMS deliberately excludes these letters to avoid confusion when differentiating some letters and numbers (e.g., between “0” and “O”).

The MLN Matters article, New MBI Get It, Use It provides other helpful information about the new Medicare cards including:

  • That the MBI hyphens on the card are for illustration purposes – do not include the hyphens or spaces on transactions.
  • The MBI should be protected as Personally Identifiable Information; it is confidential.
  • The MBI does not change Medicare benefits. Medicare beneficiaries may start using their new Medicare cards and MBIs as soon as they get them. Use MBIs as soon as your patients share them. The new cards are effective the date beneficiaries are eligible for Medicare

Read the MLN Matters article, link below, for additional information.

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