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April 3, 2018

IVR and CTI System Changes to Accommodate Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is required to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare cards by April 2019.  The Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), a unique 11 character Medicare Number, will replace the SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN).  CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards with a new MBI from April – June 2018 in Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Effective April 2, 2018, as part of the transition, changes will be made to accommodate the MBI when using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Computer Telephone Integration (CTI).

IVR MBI Changes
During the New Medicare Card transition period, providers will be able to submit either a HICN or MBI on their claims; therefore, either the HICN or MBI can be entered into the IVR and CTI. 

When accessing beneficiary information using the IVR and CTI you will be prompt to press 1 for the MBI or press 2 for the HICN.  If you press 1, you will be asked to press star (*) followed by and pound key (#) for instructions on how to enter the MBI. 

The MBI has 11 characters which includes numbers 1-9 and all letters from A to Z, except for S, L, O, I, B, and Z.  In order for the IVR/CTI to differentiate between alpha and numeric characters when using the telephone keypad, you will need to press 3 keys to enter an alpha character. 

To enter a letter, you will first press the (*) key. Next, press the number on the keypad that contains the letter that needs to be entered.  Lastly, press the number one, two, or three to identify the position of the letter on that key.  For example, to enter the letter A, you will press *21.  Below is an example of what would be entered on the keypad.  Please note, the IVR removes the letter Q from the number 7 on the telephone keypad and recognizes it as the number 1 on the keypad with the position 1; therefore, Q equals *11.  The letters PRS on the number 7 keypad are recognized as positions 1, 2, and 3. 


Telephone Keypad



For more information about the MBI format, refer to the Understanding the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) FormatExternal PDF on the CMS website.

NEW Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Converter
To assist providers when using the IVR, CGS is excited to introduce the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Converter.  This converter will take the MBI number that you enter (no dashes) and provide you with the information you need to enter using the telephone keypad.  Please note, this converter does not validate the beneficiary’s eligibility based on the MBI that you enter.  However an error message will display if you enter an incorrect MBI number/alpha-numeric/numeric format.

Remember, myCGS is a great alternative to using the IVR to obtain eligibility, claim status, payment information and more.  Visit the myCGS resources listed below for additional information.  In addition, a Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN)/Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Lookup tool will be provided in myCGS this coming June, so watch your email notifications for details on this exciting enhancement! 

Visit the New Medicare CardsExternal Website and the CMS Mailing StrategyExternal PDF on the CMS website for additional information.

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