Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Hey, Doc": What’s My Health Marketplace Insurance ID Card For?

We know health reform is big and confusing. Some parts of the law started in 2010. Other parts are rolling out over the next several years. Texas physicians and the Texas Medical Association have carefully studied the law to help you understand what the changes mean to your health care.

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to roll out, Me&My Doctor’s “Hey Doc” series will answer your frequently-asked questions, as well as some you might not have thought to ask.

Check out TMA’s past “Hey, Doc” segments.

Q. What is my marketplace insurance ID card for? What do I do if I didn’t get one? 

A. As with most health insurance, your marketplace health plan will give you an insurance card, or member ID card, once your insurance application is approved and you’ve paid your first premium. Typically, the card shows your name (or the head of your family’s name if it’s a family plan); a member identification number; a group number; a phone number for your health plan; and the type of plan you purchased. Depending on your plan, the card might include a few other pieces of information, like your primary care doctor’s name. When you go to get health care, take your card with you. The information on it helps your doctor, hospital, or pharmacy know what kind of insurance coverage you have, what your visit or medications will cost, and how much you pay for versus what your insurance company pays. (Read more about copays, coinsurance, and deductibles.)

With the delays in the launch of the marketplace, some insurance companies fell behind on processing enrollments, so a lot of people did not receive their cards. If that’s you, call your insurance company to check the status of your application and request a card. If you still don’t have a card by the time you need to visit the doctor or hospital, call your insurance plan ahead of time to find out your member ID and group numbers and the type of health plan you have, and bring that information to your visit. You might also have received a welcome letter after you signed up that shows this information – you could take that with you to the doctor.

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