How Do I Use My Health Plan ID Card?

Understanding what your health plan ID card is for is very important. Learn about why you need it, what information it contains and how to get a new one.

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Originally published 12/11/2020; Video revised 6/2023

Show Transcript

JOSEPH: Hi! My name is Joseph and today I'm meeting with a Blue Cross and Blue Shield customer advocate to talk health plan ID card. I just signed up for a health plan and I heard I'll be receiving my card in the mail. What do I need to do with it?

BCBS ADVOCATE: Good question! Your ID card is very important. Always take it with you when you go to the doctor, the pharmacy, or for other health care services. Your provider will need it to look up your
benefits and what you may owe for the visit.

JOSEPH: Thanks, I'll remember that. So what's on the card exactly?

BCBS ADVOCATE:  It shows your member number you use to access your benefits. It also has the name of the subscriber, the person who signed up for the plan. If you have a PPO, any person on the policy can use the card, even if the subscribers name is on it.

JOSEPH: Okay, my wife is on my plan. Will she get her own card?

BCBS ADVOCATE: You'll get two cards in the mail, so you can definitely share one with her.

JOSEPH: That's great. What if I need to go to the doctor before the card comes to the mail?

BCBS ADVOCATE: You can print a temporary card any time through your Blue Access for Members account online. You'll just need your member number to log in. You'll receive a new member welcome letter within a few days of enrolling.

JOSEPH: Perfect! Thank you for walking me through this.


SPEAKER: For more information call the number on your member ID card or visit our website at