Once you purchase a health insurance plan, your insurance provider will give you a health insurance card, which is a very important document. The card acts as your passport to care and coverage,serving as a proof that you hold a health insurance policy and are entitled to its benefits.
You will need to show your health insurance card when you go to:
A lab for a medical test
A doctor’s consultation
A pharmacy to get your prescription medicines
Understanding your health insurance card and how it works can help you plan your healthcare expenses better and get you the best care in a time of need. So, let’s get started and understand the contents of your health ID cards:
Personal information - This includes your name and health insurance policy number, also known as your ID number. In the case of employer-provided group insurance, it also includes your employer’s name and group number.
Provider’s name and contact information - can come in handy in case you need to contact your insurer.
Plan type – As there are different types of health insurance plans available, insurance companies mention the plan type in each ID card to help healthcare providers file claims properly.
Benefits covered – Your health coverage is specified on the card. This may include medical, dental,vision and prescription drug benefits (look for the Rx symbol).
Your costs – In case you have opted for a plan with co-pay or co-insurance options, the amount you will have to bear is mentioned on the card.
Now that you understand the contents of your Health Insurance card better, it’s time to understand how to use it right:
Review your ID card on receiving it. Ask for a new card in case there are mistakes
Make sure the costs on your card match your understanding of your coverage
Show your card whenever you avail medical services. In case you have a plan with co-
payment options, make sure you’re charged the co-pay mentioned on your card
Keep all your cards together. You may have several. For example, you may have a separate card for your critical illness cover or other riders. Or, you may be covered by more than one plan
What happens if you are not carrying your health insurance card at the time of availing healthcare related services?
It is mandatory to present your card to avail any medical service. If you aren’t carrying it, or if it has expired, or is lost, you have to pay for the services received. However, there may be exceptions but,as a rule, access to cashless treatment is available on presenting the card. You can always claim a reimbursement from your health insurance provider later.