To address the risk of medical identity theft, Section 501 of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) mandates the removal of the Social Security Number (SSN)-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) from Medicare ID cards.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses HICN with multiple parties including Medicare providers and plans. Security for Medicare members should be strengthened by using an ID number that does not contain the member’s SSN.

Timing
CMS will mail new Medicare ID cards from April 1, 2018 through April 1, 2019. The HICN, which contains the SSN, will be replaced with a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).

Note:  UnitedHealthcare does not use SSNs or HICNs on our health plan ID cards and will not be sending new cards; UnitedHealthcare plan ID cards for active employee or retiree members will not change.

Impact to Employers
Employers do not need to make any changes unless they capture and use the Medicare HICN for active employees or retirees.

Impact to Medicare Beneficiaries
Medicare beneficiaries who have a Medicare ID card will see the new number used on Medicare-related documents.