Using Your Health Insurance Card

You have enrolled in health coverage. Check! You’ve received your health insurance card. Check! Now, what does it mean?

You have probably received a membership packet in the mail either from your Marketplace plan, your Montana HELP plan, or the Montana Medicaid program- depending on what plan you enrolled in. This membership packet likely contained a health insurance card, similar to the one below. If you have enrolled in coverage, but haven’t received a membership packet or health insurance card, contact your health insurance plan or an enrollment assister to see if you should have.

Your insurance card may look differently from this one, but the information will be similar. Your insurance card will have the following information: Insurance Card

  1. Member Name, Date of Birth and Number. Your name and date of birth will usually be on the front side of your card, if either are incorrect contact your health insurance provider right away. Your member number is used by your provider to bill your insurance company for the care you receive.
  2. Group Number: Your provider uses this number to bill your insurance and tracks the specific benefits of your plan.
  3. Prescription Co-Payments: This is the amount you will have to pay when you receive medications from your pharmacy. You will pay different amounts depending on what class of medication you are getting. Generic medications, are usually the cheapest option and often have the same ingredients as name brand medications, ask your provider or pharmacist if a generic version of your prescription is available.
  4. Plan Type: This also may be called a “Plan Code”, this will allow your health insurance plan and providers to tell you which providers are “in-network” for you. In-network providers will cost you less than an out-of-network provider because they have already contracted with your insurance company.
  5. Member Service Number: This is a helpful number to call if you have questions about your plan, want to find an in-network provider, or have questions about what is covered.
  6. Co-Payments: These are the amounts you will owe when you receive health care. You may need a referral to see a specialist from your primary care provider. Not all insurance cards have this information. If you have a question about your co-payment or co-insurance you can always call the member service number.

Tip: Take a photocopy of your insurance card, or if you have a smart-phone, take a picture of the front and back of your insurance card, that way you have a copy if you ever need one.

You should carry your health insurance card with you always, that way it is available whenever you need it. You will need to bring your insurance card with you when you using the following healthcare services:

  • the doctor’s office
  • a lab for medical tests
  • a drug store or pharmacy when you are going to fill a prescription
  • a hospital