As with most health insurance, your marketplace health plan will give you an insurance card, or member ID card, once your insurance application is approved and you’ve paid your first premium. Typically the card shows your name (or the head of your family’s name if it’s a family plan); a member identification number; a group number; a phone number for your health plan; and the type of plan you purchased.
Depending on your plan, the card might include a few other pieces of information, like your primary care doctor’s name. When you go to get health care, this information helps your doctor, hospital, or pharmacy know what kind of insurance coverage you have, what your visit or medications will cost, and how much you pay for versus what your insurance company pays.
With the delays in the launch of the marketplace, some insurance companies fell behind on processing enrollments, and a lot of people did not receive their cards. If that’s you, call your insurance company to check the status of your application and request a card. If you still don’t have a card by the time you need to visit the doctor or hospital, call your insurance plan ahead of time to find out your member ID and group numbers and the type of health plan you have, and bring that information to your visit. Also, most insurance companies are sending out welcome letters after you sign up that show this information.