Common health coverage questions answered

by / Wednesday, 13 January 2016 / Published in Health Insurance
Hands Up

These are the most common questions we receive from our members, as well as some additional options to get help. If you don’t see your question below, our new virtual assistant can help you find what you need, and fast!

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Frequently-asked questions

Using the member website –
Member ID cards
Accessing care
Enrolling in a health plan
Paying your bill
Contacting customer service

Using the member website –

New to View a video demonstration to get started.

I forgot my password.

  1. From the Log In or Register drop-down menu on the right hand side of every page of or on, click Forgot Password?
  2. Enter your username and click Submit.
  3. You will be prompted to answer your login hint question.
  4. A temporary password will be sent to the email address listed with your account.
  5. From the email with the temporary password:
    • Click the link provided in the email.
    • Enter the temporary password.
    • Enter a new password.
    • Click Submit.

What information do I need to register?

  • First and last name
  • Zip code
  • Email
  • Member ID or Social Security number (Please note that the Member ID field will accept your Social Security number or your Member ID number.)

I got an error message: “Member ID cannot be found.”
The Member ID is the numeric value displayed on your ID Card. Your member ID has 12 digits. If the number on your card has 11 digits, add a “0” at the end when you enter your member ID number.

Note: When you register for, the Member ID field will also accept your Social Security number.

ID Cards

I am seeing a pop-up message asking me to enter my email confirmation code.
Within a day of registering for, you will receive an email with a confirmation code. If you don’t see it in your email folder, check your spam or junk folder. If it’s not there, you can still use the portal, just select cancel when the pop-up message appears.

  • To remove the pop-up message from future visits, go to Contact Information and select the Resend Confirmation Code link.
  • You will receive a new email with a link to confirm your email address.
  • Click on the Confirm My Email Address link in the email and log on to the website.

I signed up for coverage that hasn’t started yet. Can I register and login to
If you signed up for an Independence Blue Cross health plan, you can access up to 15 days prior to your new coverage date. You will be able to print a temporary ID card and, if necessary, change your primary care physician (PCP).

I don’t see my problem listed here.
If you need additional support, please call 1-800-ASK-BLUE (275-2583) (TTY: 711) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can also send an email to our tech support team who will respond within 48 hours.

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Member ID cards

I just received my new member ID card in the mail. When can I start using it?
You can start using your new member ID card on the date your coverage from Independence Blue Cross goes into effect. This is called the effective date. Be aware that you may receive an ID card up to 10 business days prior to the effective date. If your previous coverage is from Independence Blue Cross, use your old member ID card until the new card’s effective date. If you lost or destroyed your old ID card, you can print a temporary ID card on the secure member website,

I have not yet received my member ID card. Can I still register at the secure member site,
Yes. You can register for using your Social Security Number. Simply enter your Social Security Number in the member ID field on the registration form. This field will accept your Social Security number as well as your member ID number.

How can I get a temporary ID card?
If you need a temporary ID card, you may:

If you call, a customer service rep will verify your date of birth and mailing address. A new, permanent ID card will be mailed to you in 7 to 14 days.

If you need your ID number before your new card will arrive by mail; for example, if you need it to fill a prescription, the customer service rep may provide you with your member ID number over the phone, as long as your identity can be verified.

If cannot access your temporary ID card on, a customer service rep may help you assess the problem, and provide log on assistance, as needed.

I haven’t received my member ID card but need to get one.
If you haven’t received your member ID card in the mail, there are a few ways to obtain a temporary card:

  • Print a temporary card by visiting our member portal at
  • Download the IBX app to your smartphone, iPad, or Android tablet and log in to view an ID card image.

I don’t have my member ID card but need to fill a prescription.
You can still get prescription drugs that have been prescribed by your doctor even if you have not received your member ID card. Participating pharmacists can confirm coverage through their systems, or you can ask the pharmacist to call the pharmacy plan at 1-888-678-7012 (TTY: 711) and have them look up the information using member name and date of birth.

My member ID card arrived saying a “Valid PCP Required.” What do I do to change that?
Members enrolled in one of our HMO plans must select a primary care physician. If you receive a card that doesn’t indicate your PCP selection, or says “Valid PCP Required,” please log into or call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-ASK-BLUE (TTY: 711) to confirm or make your selection. You will receive a new member identification card to reflect your PCP choice.

Need to find a PCP? View a list of our network of doctors.

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Accessing care

I have already received prior-authorization for a prescription, but my pharmacist can’t find it in my records.
If you’re a member having trouble filling a prescription because the drug requires prior authorization, there are several options available:

  • Ask the pharmacist to call the pharmacy benefits team at 1-888-678-7012 (TTY: 711) to verify your existing prior authorization.
  • You can also call the pharmacy benefits team at 1-888-678-7012 (TTY: 711) to verify your prior authorization.
  • Ask your doctor to fax a new prior authorization form to Independence Blue Cross at 1-888-671-5285.

Please note, under Independence Blue Cross’s standard pharmacy policy, you can generally receive a 96-hour supply of the prescription right away. When the new prior authorization is updated, the pharmacy can fill the remainder of the prescription.

I’m in an HMO plan and want to select (or change) my Primary Care Physician (PCP).
Members enrolled in one of our HMO plans must select a primary care physician. You can find a list of our full network of doctors on and There are two ways to select or change your PCP:

  • Log into
  • Call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-ASK-BLUE (TTY: 711).

You will receive a new member identification card to reflect your PCP choice.

Have an HMO Proactive plan? See more FAQs.

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Enrolling in a health care plan

I haven’t enrolled in a plan yet but am interested in getting health coverage.
If you are purchasing your own health insurance, we offer three convenient options to help you find a health plan that works for you:

  • Compare and shop for plans at
  • Call 1-888-475-6206 (TTY: 711) to speak to an Independence Blue Cross sales representative, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday – Friday.
  • Visit Our Walk-in Service Center at 1900 Market Street (near the corner of 20th & Market Streets), Philadelphia, PA 19103-1480, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

I enrolled online but am not sure how to confirm my coverage and eligibility.
If you haven’t received any information from Independence Blue Cross in the mail, and need to confirm your enrollment, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-ASK-BLUE (TTY: 711) and a representative will be glad to assist you. Our Customer Service Center is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., EST.

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Paying your bill

How do I pay my bill?
If you purchase your own health insurance plan, we offer you several convenient ways to pay your bill.

My subsidy amount is incorrect or missing on my most recent invoice. What should I do?
If you recently reviewed your health plan, you may not be aware of a change in your subsidy amount. For example, your February 2016 invoice is higher than you expected it to be due to the federal government reducing your annual subsidy. Subsidy amounts are recalculated every year for a number of reasons. For instance, your household income may have increased, or you may no longer qualify for financial assistance. You can reapply for a subsidy during Open Enrollment, or at any time your income changes, at the Health Insurance Marketplace.

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Contacting customer service

I have questions and would like to talk with someone in Customer Service about my coverage.
Our Customer Service Center is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., EST. We know your time is valuable, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience you may experience due to high call volume. You can reach Customer Service at 1-800-ASK-BLUE (TTY: 711).

What can I do to help make my call to Independence Blue Cross customer service go smoothly?
Please have your Independence Blue Cross member ID readily available. Be prepared to enter your member ID number using the keypad on your phone when prompted.

Your member ID number is 12 digits in length and located on the front of your member ID card, underneath your name. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, this number is 13 digits, with the last digit being a letter from the alphabet. Entering your member ID when prompted helps to ensure that your call is routed to the right person, thereby preventing delays.

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As SVP and Chief Marketing Executive at Independence Blue Cross, Paula Sunshine is accountable for the Individual Under-65 market segment. In this capacity, she is directly responsible for developing and executing all direct-to-consumer marketing and sales capabilities. In addition, Ms. Sunshine is accountable for insuring the delivery of market-competitive products and pricing as well as operational readiness for the Consumer market.

8 Responses to “Common health coverage questions answered”

  1. avatar Jennifer says : Reply

    If your own customer service reps give incorrect information, how is the average consumer supposed to navigate their health care? I spent 25 minutes on the phone with a lovely woman named Gabrielle who, despite asking 4 different times with the specific question “where am I capitated to for out-patient PT?” still gave me the wrong information. If the PT office she sent me to hadn’t been paying attention, I would have been billed the full amounts. Locating capitated service providers is a basic question. Your training needs serious improvement.

    • avatar IBX Insights Team says : Reply

      Hi Jennifer, thanks for reaching out. We appreciate your feedback. If there is something we can help you with, please send your information to and we’ll have someone contact you directly. Sincerely, Allison K.

  2. avatar Kenneth Barychko says : Reply

    Identification Verification.

    This issue has been going on since Open Season.
    All I changed in my benefits was Self and Family (112) to Self Plus One (113)
    I use Open Season Express (after multiple back and forths from both OPM’s and sites.
    My wife has been covered in the system for over 35 years. The Open Season Express changed her birthdate when completed and made it wrong. My wife’s birthdate has been the same forever, 12/12/1954.

    I spoke to a Marlene ID 51102 in December at OPM. She said it was corrected.
    I also spoke to Magen ID 382 at December 11th, She said it was correct.

    I also spoke to Ruby ID 3746 on December 31st. She said it was correct.

    I also double checked with OPM last week (March) She said it was correct.
    My wife Eileen Barychko tried to call and when entering her birthdate in you robot system on the phone was told she does not exist.

    The only thing that was changed during Open Season was the Self and Family to Self Plus One to save a lousy seven dollars.
    Both OPM’s and Blue Cross web sites are total mess as I stated in surveys on both.

    I want conformation by telephone, email and print that this issue is fixed.
    This was the only change I’ve done in 30 years or better. I cannot understand how both of your systems can screw up a simple change.

    Kenneth Barychko 732-477-6829
    891 Stapleton Ave.
    Brick NJ 08723

    CSA41918280 (OPM) (Blue Cross Blue Shield FEDs) R16406280

    Why can’t anyone make sure this is correct?

    Kenneth Barychko

    • avatar IBX Insights Team says : Reply

      Hi Kenneth, thank you for your comment. We truly apologize for your experience. We can help! Your comment is under review and a rep will reach out today. Sincerely, Daina H.

  3. avatar George Croner says : Reply

    I sent an email a week ago seeking basic information about the parameters of my coverage and how I gain access to my wife’s claims and spending information. I’ve never received any response.

  4. avatar Angela Lowe says : Reply

    Please forgive me in advance, but I just had a totally avoidable and unpleasant experience with an ibx customer representative.
    I called in to get some info about a letter that I received from a suspect law office claiming I am in collections for a bill that I paid in the appropriate time manner back in 2015. I have not received any info or calls about this so called collection before and a year later I get this.
    My concern is, when I went through the steps to speak to a rep I heard more than one recording stating how they are dedicated to helping resolve my issues. When the representative answered the phone let me tell you, she was not interested in helping me with my simple request on checking the validity of this letter. After insinuating I didn’t pay my bill I stopped her and asked did I not reach the Dept that was dedicated to helping resolve my issues?
    I am uphauled that no one in her vicinity intervened, wondering why she was arguing so loudly with someone at her workplace. That recording on dedicated service to your customers should be erased if the type of service like I received will continue.
    Your unvalued bill paying customer,
    Angela Lowe

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