If you’re one of millions of Americans obtaining health insurance for the first time or you’ve recently given up a grandfathered plan and switched to a new policy, you may have many questions. For example, you might want some information regarding your health insurance policy number.
What is it? Why do you need it? Why is it so important that you use the right number? Here are a few things you need to know about your health insurance policy number so that you can take advantage of all the benefits afforded by your plan.
What is a Health Insurance Policy Number and Where is it Located?
When you receive your health insurance card from your insurance provider, you may notice several pieces of information included on the card, including a slew of numbers. Different providers will list different pieces of data on their cards.
Your policy number could be listed under any of several headings, but it should be relatively clear which is the primary number. It may be listed as a member number, a member ID, an identification number, a policy number, or something along those lines.
Where it can get confusing is if there are also headings like “group number”. What is the difference between these numbers?
The group number is generally used to identify a policy group of which you are a member – in most cases it pertains to the group your employer joins in order to reduce the cost of providing health insurance benefits. However, it is not necessarily important for you.
The policy (or member, or identification) number is your personal identifier used to prove that you are the policy holder.
Why is Your Policy Number Important?
It is extremely important that any healthcare providers you visit get your policy number right. The reason is that this number is what will be used to track and route billing for your account. If healthcare providers enter an incorrect policy number, your claim will almost certainly be denied.
When this happens, healthcare providers may attempt to collect their payment from you directly. If you want your medical expenses paid for by your insurance policy, your policy number will expedite the process. Without it, your provider cannot keep track of medical billing and you’re the one who will have to deal with correcting the situation.
Additional Information – Health Insurance Overview
Picking the right health insurance policy means spending some time comparison shopping to find the provider and plan that present you with the best possible benefits at a price you can afford. You’ll have to consider factors like premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, along with coverage.
These days the prospect of finding suitable insurance at an affordable price has been supplemented by the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare. Thanks to healthcare reform, insurance providers can no longer deny, limit, or charge more for coverage if you have pre-existing conditions.
In addition, many services that are deemed essential (such as preventive care) must be included in every primary insurance policy. Of course, the flip side is that every U.S. citizen is now responsible for carrying a health insurance policy that meets minimum standards for coverage, with a failure to comply resulting in penalties.
Ask questions or share your experiences with health insurance in the comments section below!