Use New Medicare IDs to Avoid Rejected Claims
By Ellen Terry


Your Medicare patients have ditched their old Medicare ID numbers. It’s high time you do, too, to avoid unpaid claims in the new year. 

Starting Jan. 1, Medicare beneficiary identifiers (MBIs) replace patients’ old Social Security number-based health insurance claim numbers (HICNs). Novitas Solutions, the Medicare payer for Texas, will reject any claim submitted with a patient’s HICN, with a few exceptions. You will have to refile the claim with the patient’s MBI to get paid. 

Novitas also will reject all eligibility transactions submitted with an HICN after Dec. 31. 

Novitas has been accepting claims filed with an MBI since spring. However, the payer reported in September that nearly 28% of Texas Part B claims still were coming in with the HICN, mostly from solo practices. 

If you are still using the HICN, be sure to check each Medicare patient’s ID card, which will display the patient’s MBI, and use that number to file claims on Jan. 1 or sooner. Or check the remittance advice for Medicare claims you’ve filed since October, which display the patient’s MBI along with the HICN you used for filing. 

Note however, that after Dec. 31, the MBI no longer will appear on the remittance advice for claims you submit with the patient’s HICN.

You also can find patient MBIs anytime on the MBI Lookup Tool in Novitasphere, Novitas Solutions’ online portal. If you are not already enrolled in Novitasphere, keep in mind that enrolling involves five steps, and approval is not immediate. Or, a patient can find his or her MBI by logging in at

Read more about using the Medicare beneficiary identifier from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Remember TMA is here to help. If you have questions about billing and coding, or payer policies, contact TMA’s payment specialists via email , or call the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955.


Last Updated On

January 07, 2020

Originally Published On

November 12, 2019

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Ellen Terry

Project Manager, Client Services

(512) 370-1391

Ellen Terry has been writing, editing, and managing communication projects at TMA since 2000. She hails from Victoria, Texas; has a journalism degree from Texas State University; and loves to read great fiction. Ellen and her husband have two grown sons and a couple of cats.

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