The New Medicare Cards are coming to your Medicare Supplement clients. Medicare Advantage plan enrollees can keep using the same cards.
As we reported earlier in the year, the card replacement effort is beginning and those with Original Medicare coverage will soon receive their new cards. This means your Medicare Supplement clients will receive their replacement card soon. Medicare Advantage will also get new Original Medicare cards, but they can continue to use their Medicare Advantage plan cards when seeking medical care.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says it will begin mailing the new cards in April 2018. The first enrollees to get the new cards will be beneficiaries in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia, according to the wave announcement from CMS. The last enrollees to receive their new card will include those in Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, and the Virgin Island, which will happen sometime after June 2018.
CMS is replacing the Medicare card because of a provision in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MARCA), which requires the beneficiary’s social security number to be removed from all Medicare cards by 2019. In a guide published by CMS, they provide the language they recommend to be used when referring to the new “Medicare Number” and how the beneficiaries will receive their new card by mail. The primary goal of this effort is to help protect against identify theft. The new Medicare number, of “Medicare Beneficiary Identifier” (MBI) contains both numbers and letters.
It’s important to explain to your clients why the change has occurred and to stress so that they are aware of anyone who contacts them about their new Medicare card. Remind them that CMS, nor any other individual will ever contact them and ask for personal or private information to obtain their new Medicare card number or other personal information. Additionally, CMS notes that Medicare will give Medigap issuers information about enrollees’ new Medicare identifiers before it mails the new cards.
During the transition period, Medicare will accept claims that use either the older numbers of the new MBI identifiers, CMS says. After the transition period ends, individuals enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan must start using their MBIs. Insurers can use identification numbers other than new MBIs for non-Medicare business, but eventually, they will have to make sure the Social Security numbers are off of their own plan ID cards, says CMS. If private payers continue to have their own ID numbers, then they should put only their own numbers on enrollees’ cards, not the MBIs, officials say.
For more resources related to the change in the Medicare Card, please review the resources below:
- A top-level card shift resource directory
- A slide deck for employers and partners
- A card-shift page for supplemental insurance
As always, you can contact Agent Pipeline for more information and speak with our Compliance Board or your Regional Market Manager. Give us a call at 800-962-4693, utilize our live chat in the corner, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!