What Is a BNC Number?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • A BNC number is a Beneficiary Notice Code used by the Social Security Administration to identify documents and notices. Learn more about BNC codes and other numbers related to Social Security and Medicare.

There are a lot of numbers associated with Social Security and Medicare. One of these is a BNC number, or Beneficiary Notice Code.  

What Is a BNC Number?

The BNC number is an encrypted 13-character alphanumeric code that is used to identify documents from the Social Security Administration. The BNC number is used instead of Social Security numbers or Medicare numbers as a security measure to prevent identity theft.

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Each document that the Social Security Administration sends to beneficiaries contains a BNC number that is unique to that individual document. Beneficiaries do not have a BNC number like they have a Social Security number or Medicare number. Rather, each document is assigned its own BNC number.

If you receive three separate documents from Social Security, you will see three different BNC numbers. These documents can include notices, claim forms and other communication. Social Security Administration employees use a lookup tool to identify the beneficiary associated with the BNC number.

A BNC number is also used on select Medicare documents such as benefit verification letters. 

Is BNC Number the Same as a Claim Number?

A BNC number is not the same as a claim number.

Social Security uses your Social Security number for benefit claims. This number consists of nine digits and an alphanumeric suffix that identifies the type of beneficiary and their qualification category.

A Medicare claim number is an 11-number code consisting of only numbers and uppercase letters. You can find your Medicare number on your red, white and blue Medicare card.

A Medicare claim number is the same thing as your Medicare number, or Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI). Your Medicare number is used to identify you as a beneficiary, instead of using your Social Security number. It is also used to file your Medicare claims when you receive health care services or items.

Your Social Security number (SSN) may be found on your Social Security card, tax returns, W-2’s and bank statements. 

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Where Do I Find My Medicare Number?

Your Medicare number can be found on your Medicare card under “Medicare Number.” Medicare numbers do not use the letters S, L, O, I, B or Z to avoid confusion.

You may also see your Medicare number online by creating an account with MyMedicare.gov.

Medicare beneficiaries typically do not have to file claims on their own. Health care providers use your Medicare card to file a claim with Medicare on your behalf. They have one year from the date of service to do so. If the claim is not filed in a timely manner, you may file it yourself by submitting a Patient Request for Medical Payment along with an itemized bill for the service and a reason for your filing.

How Can I Get More Help with Social Security or Medicare?

For additional help with Social Security, you may call 1-800-772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office.

You may also email the Social Security Administration using the online contact form or mail a letter to:

Social Security Administration
Office of Public Inquiries and Communications Support
1100 West High Rise
6401 Security Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21235

For assistance with Medicare, you may call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or send a letter to:

Medicare Contact Center Operations
PO Box 1270
Lawrence, KS 66044

You may also log in to your Medicare.gov account for help with billing, claims, medical records and more.

Have Medicare questions?

Talk to a licensed agent today to find a plan that fits your needs.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with HelpAdivsor.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at Mike@MyHelpAdvisor.com.

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