Common Health Coverage Questions Answered

by / Wednesday, 13 January 2016 / Published in Health Insurance
Health Coverage - Frequently Asked Questions about your coverage

These are the most common health coverage 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!

Health Coverage - Ask Ibx

Frequently-asked questions

Transitioning from an Aetna or United Healthcare plan
Using the member website –
Member ID cards
Accessing care
Enrolling in a health plan
Paying your bill
Connecting with IBX

Transitioning from an Aetna or United Healthcare plan

My coverage is being converted to an Independence policy. How do I make sure I can use my benefits January 1?

  1. Pay your bill: We will send you an invoice in late November. To confirm the plan that you were placed in, pay this bill and an ID card will be generated.
  2. Register for ibxpress: On our member portal,, you can pay your bill, view and print a temporary ID card, and search for health care providers.
  3. Pick a PCP: If you have an HMO plan, you will need to pick a primary care physician (PCP) to help coordinate your health care. It’s important to note that your PCP has designated sites for lab work, therapy, X-rays, and more. Find out how to get the most from your HMO.

    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.

    Health Coverage - 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 60 days prior to your new health 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.

    Back to top


    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 have two options:

    If cannot access your temporary ID card on or the IBX app, a customer service rep may help you assess the problem, and provide log on assistance, as needed. Just call 1-800-ASK-BLUE (TTY: 711).

    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 health 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.

    Back to top


    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 three ways to select or change your PCP:

    • Log into
    • Use the IBX app.
    • 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.

    Back to top


    Enrolling in a health coverage care plan

    I haven’t enrolled in a plan yet but am interested in getting health coverage.
    If you are purchasing your own health coverage, we offer three convenient insurance 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 Independence LIVE at 1919 Market Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Please note that the Walk-In Services Center at 1900 Market St. is now closed.

    I enrolled online but am not sure how to confirm my health 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.

    Back to top


    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 2017 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.

    Back to top


    Connecting with IBX

    I have questions and would like to talk with someone in Customer Service about my health 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.

    How can I stay informed about my health plan?
    Staying connected to Independence is one of the easiest ways to maximize your health benefits. You can get personalized health screening reminders, important plan notifications, and cost savings alerts through email or with IBX Wire™, our FREE*, secure text messaging service. To sign up, simply call 1-888-700-1078 (TTY:711) or text IBX WIRE to 73529. Be sure to have your ID card handy.

    *Standard message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to stop and HELP for help. Terms and conditions available at Notification messages within IBX Wire are sent via automated SMS. Enrollment in IBX Wire is not a requirement to purchase goods and services from Independence Blue Cross. Wire is a trademark of Relay Network,

    Back to top


Paula Sunshine
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.

41 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.

    • avatar Susan says : Reply


      I’ve been trying to resolve an issue regarding my change from a silver to a bronze plan since January. I’ve been assured that my issue has been escalated and that I will receive a call back, yet I never hear back from a representative. Instead, I have to speak with a new person each time and explain the situation over again after long waits on hold. I wish there would be more accountability from customer service team. Can someone from your staff please contact me to see this issue through? I’ve been terribly disappointed thus far.

      • avatar IBX Insights Team says : Reply

        Hi Susan, I can see that you’ve completed our online form this evening. Thank you! I will forward your information along now and have a member of our Executive Inquiries team contact you directly tomorrow, during regular business hours. Sincerely, Maureen G.

  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

  5. avatar Lindsay Berger says : Reply

    I would like to know how to get an email to someone in the President’s office? Thank you

  6. avatar Stephanie Wright says : Reply

    After a customer service rep gave inaccurate information to my son’s father on the phone on 6/13/16 about the time frame it takes to cancel coverage (14 days), I called today 6/15/2016 to cancel health insurance coverage for my son because he will be getting insurance through an employer as of 7/1/16. 14 days from 6/15 is 6/29. I was made aware on the phone today that it takes 14 business days not 14 days to cancel coverage. I asked if the rep could make our request to cancel retroactive to 6/13/16 due to the fact that the previous rep did not make it clear that it was 14 business days and had we known that, we would have canceled on 6/13/16. I was told this would NOT be possible and we WOULD be receiving a bill for coverage for our son for THE ENTIRE MONTH OF JULY because 14 business days from today, 6/15/16, is 7/5 because 7/1 is 13 business days and then it is the weekend and the following Monday is Independence day, a holiday. If we had canceled yesterday or the day before, this would not be the case. I asked if she could please review her records for the notes from the previous phone call and she said that there were no records to review (no notes from previous customer service rep). I asked if she could have someone look into the recorded phone calls from 6/13 and I was told that would not be possible. Today I was told that nothing could be done because the rep didn’t leave a note to reference from the previous call. I plan on using all mediums of social media to reach other IBX customers to share what happened so that they are properly informed, should they ever need to cancel their coverage.

    I find it very unreasonable that we, the customer, are being held fiscally accountable for mistakes made on part of an IBX employee (not giving customer accurate info and not making any notes of the customer call). I am now being asked to pay a couple hundred dollars, an extra month’s bill, because an IBX customer service rep wasn’t specific and didn’t feel like taking notes during his/her work day on Monday. That is ridiculous. To echo previous customer comments, IBX customer service reps need better training. Will anyone at IBX take corrective action?

  7. avatar Stephanie Wright says : Reply

    ^I would like to add that it is incredibly unfair that IBX doesn’t have the option for customers to pay a pro-rated amount for periods when they are receiving coverage for less than half a month. In this instance, we will be paying the full amount for a month coverage but we will only be receiving coverage for less than 5 days of the month, as coverage will be ending 7/5/16. IBX I encourage you to reconsider your policy on this because although you might be losing a customer when they was to unenroll today, they might think twice about re-enrolling with you the next time the change jobs, go on extended maternity leave or retire. It is a shame because up until now, we had a good experience with IBX.

    • avatar IBX Insights Team says : Reply

      Hi Stephanie, thank you for your additional comment. We apologize again for this inconvenience. Your feedback will be shared with our customer service team. Sincerely, Daina H.

  8. avatar yani says : Reply

    How do I get a replacement card when I can’t get found in the system when I call?

  9. avatar Oleksandr says : Reply

    I’m trying to login to the web page for second day already. And got constantly same error : We are sorry, but system is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later. (ECM8054)
    Is that expected to have the ‘service’ unavailable for 2 days in a row?
    Or is smth wrong with my username/password? If so, why message is so misleading?

  10. avatar Ella says : Reply

    I have tried to look on how to cancel my health insurance and have not found any instructions on your website about how to cancel, other than being delinquent with my payment. For priding yourself of transparency, it sure is hard to find how to discontinue coverage. Please include it in your website or have it easily accessible, in the mean time could I get a response on how to discontinue health insurance coverage?
    Thank you

  11. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do
    some research about this. We got a grab a book from our
    local library but I think I learned more clear from this
    post. I’m very glad to see such wonderful info being shared
    freely out there.

  12. avatar Christine Guadalupe says : Reply

    I have been waiting to be transferred to someone who can answer premier insurance carriers questions, for 25 minutes. I call back and the same thing happened. I only wanted to find a physical therapist in my area. This is ridiculous costumer service.

  13. avatar myblog says : Reply

    I appreciate the info on your website. Regards!.

  14. avatar Diana says : Reply

    I tried to complete the form for “Blue Health-Assessment”, however, when I called, there was no available representative. Please advise when you read this if I could complete the form and receive the monetary reward as indicated. Thank you.

  15. avatar IBX Insights Team says : Reply

    Hi Diana, we’d like to help with this! Could you please send your info to so we can reach out directly? Sincerely, Allison K.

  16. avatar kay says : Reply

    I have been transferred 10 times without any help from anyone. Everyone pretty much immediately said I cannot answer that let me transfer you to someone who would know. Some of them even cut me off while I was trying to explain the situation by being louder and basically yelling at me because I insisted that I had already spoken to whomever they wanted to transfer me to. I am very unsatisfied with their customer service. They were unable to answer my question. I asked to speak to a manager hoping they would actually help but looks like the woman I spoke to didn’t even transfer me. Horrible customer service.

  17. avatar James Scott Brownlee says : Reply

    I have now spent several hours / days trying to resolve a simple billing issue with IBX. So far I have paid $996.33 for three months of premiums (January, December, and February) and have the bank statements to prove it. Two days ago out-of-the-blue I got a notice that my premium payment is overdue and that my coverage may be terminated, even though I’ve been paying on time (early, in fact) each month. The notice is demanding payment of $664.22 by 4/1/2017 even though I only owe $332.11 for the month of April. I have gotten two different answers when I called in to ask about this accounting error (neither of them conclusive) and am left at my wit’s end. It is completely unfair to ask me to pay for a premium (March) that I already paid for due to an accounting error in IBX’s system, and it is doubly unfair to then threaten termination of coverage when I’ve been paying on time all along. I have reached out to try to resolve this issue via Facebook (2 days ago) and have still not been reached out to by a member of the Executive Inquiries committee, which is who I need to speak with at this point to quickly resolve this issue. It is a really simple fix–someone just needs to go in the IBX system, credit me the $332.11 I already paid, and update my April bill to reflect a balance due of $332.11 rather than $664.22. If it is not resolved in the next 48 hours, I will have no choice but to take IBX to small claims court for the additional $332.11 they have incorrectly billed me, as well as payment for my time spent trying to resolve this issue (which at this point is adding up). I am an independent contractor, and any time I spend trying to resolve this is time spent not working. I also cannot afford to have my coverage terminated due to an IBX accounting error, which has made the issue doubly stressful.

    • avatar IBX Insights Team says : Reply

      Hi James! We apologize for your experience. We have received your messages on Facebook and will have a member of our Executive Inquiries Team contact you today to assist. Sincerely, Maureen G.

  18. J. says : Reply

    My normal monthly premium is $332.11, and I have been incorrectly billed $664.22 for a March premium I *already paid* along with an upcoming April premium of $331.11. On top of this, I received a Notice of Overdue Payment two days ago that threatens to terminate the health coverage I have diligently paid so far. To date, I have paid IBX $996.33 (Dec., Jan. and Feb. premiums)–and always well before each monthly due date. I have the bank statement evidence to prove this and should only owe $332.11 for April’s premium (due by 3/31/2017). This is something I thought could be resolved quickly over the phone, but after having two calls (one today, and one yesterday) with the IBX billing department, I have not been given any clear answers as to what is going on. This has been frustrating both in terms of poor customer service and the stress of having my health insurance potentially cancelled when I have done nothing wrong and paid my premiums early each month. I already sent IBX a message on Facebook (2 days ago) and have yet to be reached out to by a member of the Executive Inquiries team. I would like a member of the Executive Inquiries team to call me as soon as possible to resolve this issue, which is as simple as someone at IBX going into the system, crediting me the $332.11 the system incorrectly says I owe, and updating my bill for April 2017 to be for $332.11 instead of $664.22. If this issue is not resolved in the next 48 hours, I will have no other choice but to take IBX to small claims court for the $332.11 incorrectly billed me plus money for the time I have spent trying to resolve this issue (I am an independent contractor, and time is money for me). It is unfair to have to pay $332.11 I don’t owe, and I see no other option at this point but to pay the incorrect bill, then pursue that amount along with damages in small claims court.

    • avatar IBX Insights Team says : Reply

      Hi James! We apologize for your experience. We have received your messages on Facebook and will have a member of our Executive Inquiries Team contact you today to assist. Sincerely, Maureen G.

  19. I have been trying to set my current marketplace coverage to end on April 1st when my new employer’s coverage will take effect (also an IBX plan) all month. Unfortunately, due to the nature of my job as a professional driver, I rarely have time to spend the 30-60 min on hold that it seems is always required to speak to an actual person; I have therefore been unsuccessful in setting up this transition. I finally decided to see if I could do it online through the IBX website, but cannot log in. I am receiving a message that states I am no longer a member of an IBX plan, yet the automated phone system, as best I can tell, says my coverage is still in effect. As it is now nearly April 1st, I would like to resolve this issue as quickly as possible; preferably without having to take a day off work to make A single phone call or spending over $400 on a health insurance policy I no longer need. Is there a way I can live chat with a rep despite not being able to log in (or perhaps resolve this through email)?

    • avatar IBX Insights Team says : Reply

      Hi Nicole, my apologies for the delayed response. We can help. Could you please send your contact info to A rep will look into this for you and reach out directly – through email if preferred. Sincerely, Allison K.

  20. avatar Dmitrii says : Reply

    I’m trying to register my account but constantly getting the error ‘Error Found: We are having issues during your registration process. If you are a member of Independence Blue Cross, please call 1-800-ASK-BLUE. Sorry for the inconvenience.’ if use SSN and ‘System Temporarily Unavailable We cannot process your request at this time. Please contact the Health Resource Center at 1-800-ASK-BLUE. We apologize for any inconvenience.’ if I use members ID. But support is available only on working days. Automatic system confirms my enrollment but I can’t register my account and I have to wait till Monday. I don’t have 2 days to wait I need to register as soon as possible.

Leave a Reply