New Medicare Card Unveiled


9/14/2017

On September 14th the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the design of the new Medicare cards that it will begin sending to beneficiaries in April 2018.  The new cards, which we have previously written about here, here, and here, are designed to substantially reduce the use of Medicare cards in fraud and identity theft. 

Key differences

As expected, the new card will contain the new Medicare number (previously referred to as a Medicare beneficiary identifier number).  These new numbers will contain a randomly generated series of numbers and letters that is not associated with any other information personally identifiable to the Medicare beneficiary. 

The new look cards, which can be found here, not only contain the new numbers but are also more streamlined in appearance than the existing cards.  Medicare’s new card removes the 1-800-MEDICARE phone number, renames “Name of Beneficiary” to “Name,” relabels “Medicare claim number” as “Medicare number,” and relabels “effective date” to “coverage starts.”  The new cards also remove any reference to the beneficiary’s gender.  

CMS will hold a webinar on the topic on Monday September 18th at 2 p.m. ET.  Registration is available here.

Medicare Secondary Payer impact

The new card itself has no impact on Medicare Secondary Payer programs.  However, the new Medicare numbers will replace existing health insurance claims numbers and insurers and TPAs should be aware that these new alpha-numeric numbers will be phased in starting April 1, 2018.  As it pertains to Section 111 reporting, CMS will merely be repurposing the existing HICN field to accommodate the new Medicare identifier values.  This will result in little to no impact on the Section 111 data flow and processes.  ExamWorks’ operating platforms are already fully prepared to accept the new Medicare identifier values, ensuring no interruption in service to clients.

ExamWorks Clinical Solutions will continue to monitor the new Medicare card project and inform you of any additional changes as they are announced.  Should you have any questions about the new Medicare numbers and how they will be used by CMS, please contact Marty Cassavoy.

About the author

Marty Cassavoy is the Vice President of MSP Compliance. Marty is a nationally-recognized expert and sought-after speaker, possessing over a decade of experience in solving critical Medicare compliance challenges for insurers, third-party administrators, and self-insureds.  Marty may be reached by phone at 781-517-8085 or by email at marty.cassavoy@examworks-cs.com.

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