This month the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will start mailing out the new Medicare cards to residents in Illinois

In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. This law requires the removal of Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards by April 2019 and the issuing of new Medicare cards to replace the old ones. This new initiative is to protect against fraud and identity theft. A new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) will replace the Social Security Number (SSN)-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) on the new Medicare cards for Medicare transactions like billing, eligibility status and claim status.


The new Medicare card will have a completely different and randomly assigned identifier that will be 11 characters long, containing a mix of numbers and uppercase letters. This is the MBI. CMS is also removing the gender and signature line from the new Medicare card. The MBI is confidential like your SSN and should be protected as personal health information.

If a beneficiary is new to Medicare after April 2018, the beneficiary will receive the new MBI card. CMS has until April 2019 to mail out new cards to all 60 million national Medicaid beneficiaries. Current Medicare cards will be accepted until December 31, 2019, after which only the new MBI card will be accepted.

The new card will not impact current Medicare benefits or status. Beneficiaries are asked to destroy, not throw away, their old Medicare cards once the new one is received.

If you need to update your mailing address you can do so online here or by calling 1-800-772-1213.


Springfield, IL... State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) is pushing for legislation to strengthen Illinois's state laws to protect students from sexual predators in schools. A recent Chicago Tribune investigation found that CPS failed to protect its students from sexual abuse and assault over a 10 year period. The Chicago Tribune identified 72 school employees as alleged perpetrators and detailed the various ways in which CPS poorly responded and mistreated student victims. 

"Sexual predators have no place in our society, let alone our schools," Rep. McAuliffe said. "The fact that CPS does not have a set procedure for what is clearly a pervasive problem, and that they failed to report it to the Department of Child and Family Services as required by law is absolutely unacceptable. This investigation shined a light on serious lapses not just in CPS policy, but state law."

House Bill 5914 requires a school board to establish a hearing procedure for student victims of alleged sexual assault or sexual abuse by a licensed educator that allows a student victim to testify. School districts may not interview a student without their parent or guardian's permission. It would also require all complaints of abuse be forwarded to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and require the removal of an educator under investigation from the classroom. In addition, it makes it a crime for a school authority figure to have sex with a student regardless of age. Current state law limits this crime to the age of 17. 

"School administrators should not be in charge of these investigations; they are not equipped to handle them," Rep. McAuliffe continued. "Not only did CPS and individual schools mishandle sexual abuse cases as they occurred, but some of these predators should not have been allowed to step foot in schools in the first place."

The Tribune’s investigation found CPS conducted negligent background checks when hiring teachers and a failure to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities. Some teachers that were investigated by CPS were later hired elsewhere. 

HB 5914 mandates that ISBE be aware of, and monitor, the process with regard to each individual background check conducted by school districts. It also amends the Freedom of Information Act to allow school districts to disclose to another school district the disciplinary records and internal investigative findings of personnel relating to sexual abuse. Any arresting agency is required to share its reports pertaining to the arrest of a licensed educator with the superintendent of any school district that employs the educator.

HB 5914 has been filed with the Clerk and awaits committee assignment. The Illinois House and Senate will hold hearings this summer to further investigate the issue and consider additional policy recommendations. 

Springfield, IL… State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) has successfully shepherded a bill through the House and on to the Governor that will be an important part of the efforts to effectively address the Legionella outbreaks that have occurred since 2015 at the Quincy Veterans Home. 

“We need to be able to use every tool and every avenue we have until the situation at Quincy is fully rectified,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “Any and all options should be on the table to make sure our veterans are getting the care that they deserve. With this bill we are ensuring that IDVA can move forward with any renovation plans and know that veterans will have a place they’re taken care of in the interim.”
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House Bill 5683 changes the definition of "Veterans Home" to include a facility operated and maintained by the Department of Veterans' Affairs in the City of Quincy that provides housing to residents of the Veterans Home at Quincy. The idea to use a nearby vacant Sycamore Healthcare nursing home as a temporary facility for the Quincy veterans was among the many proposals to come from the task force created by the Governor in January to study solutions to the ongoing outbreak. The State would purchase the home for veterans to live in while the Quincy home is extensively renovated. The bill was proposed by the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs and if efforts are made to move forward with the former Sycamore facility, it will be staffed by State of Illinois employees.

The bill was carried in the Senate by Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Murphysboro). It passed both the House and Senate Unanimously.