Many Medicare beneficiaries have received their new Medicare Card, which uses what is called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (“MBI”).
This is randomly generated and uses a combination of eleven letters and numbers in the following format (“L “ stands for letter; “N” stands for number): first character: N; second character: L;
third character: L or N
; fourth character N----fifth character : L;
sixth character: L or N
; seventh character-N----eighth character: L; ninth character: L; tenth character: N; and eleventh character: N
Note that the third and sixth characters can use either a letter or a number, all the other characters are limited to letters or characters as indicated.
Numbers can be any number between 0 and 9; letters S, L, O, I, B, and Z are not used because they can easily be confused with numbers (e.g. S can be confused with 5, O can be confused with 0, etc.)
Beneficiaries MUST begin using the new cards January 1, 2020
Meanwhile either the old or new numbers can be used. Newly eligible beneficiaries are receiving only the MBI cards.
Providers are asking beneficiaries to provide them with their new numbers, if they have them, for new appointments. We suggest that you begin using your new MBI cards when they arrive and that you destroy you old cards, which used what was called a HICN, which was a Social Security number (yours or your spouse's, depending on whose income was used for calculating Social Security, plus one or two letters.