The new MBI will be noticeably different than the HICN. It will be 11 characters in length and will be comprised of numbers and uppercase letters. The MBI will not change any Medicare benefits, deductibles or co-insurance requirements. The new cards and identifiers can be used upon receipt.
Providers should prepare for this change by evaluating business processes and identifying and testing changes. You can download the MBI Format specifications document to learn more about the identifier. Whereas most HICNs have 9 digits followed by a letter, the new MBI will always be 11 characters, starting with a number from 1-9, and will have multiple letter and number variations. The new MBI will look something like this: 2N78BB4UR47. Note: While the MBI will be a randomly-generated identifier, it will still equate to Personally Identifiable Information for HIPAA purposes and it must be protected in the same manner as the HICN.