MAY 02, 2017
CMS to Remove SSN from New Medicare Cards
Practices will soon see changes to Medicare cards. In an effort to protect beneficiaries from identify theft, CMS will begin the Social Security Number Removal Initiative in April 2018. Under the program, CMS will assign an 11-character alphanumeric identifier to Medicare enrollees. The identifier replaces patients’ social security number as their identifier.
Beneficiaries will receive a new card at this time, including those with Railroad Medicare. The change does not affect patients’ benefits.
Practices should allow ample time to update their practice management systems to accommodate the new identifier. By April 2019, CMS expects to only accept the new information.
During the transition period that starts April 1, 2018, practices may submit claims using either the social security number or the new beneficiary identifier. CMS has provided the identifier format to ensure your system is ready to input the new data.