What’s My Health Marketplace Insurance ID Card For?

Feb. 18, 2014

So you signed up for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) marketplace health insurance, and you received an identification card in the mail. You might wonder, what is it for, and what do I do with it? Or perhaps more important, if you did not receive a card, what should you do then? This week’s installment of Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) “Hey, Doc” weekly education campaign explains.

TMA’s 19th week of “Hey, Doc” education programming

What is my marketplace insurance ID card for? What do I do if I didn’t get one? 

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, take your card with you. The information on it 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. (Read more about copays, coinsurance, and deductibles.)

With the delays in the launch of the marketplace, some insurance companies fell behind on processing enrollments, so 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. You might also have received a welcome letter after you signed up that shows this information – you could take that with you to the doctor.

What’s next for TMA’s “Hey, Doc” report: 

Week of Feb. 24: My doctor can’t get a straight answer from my insurance company. How can I make sure I can use this insurance?

Week of March 3: What should I do if I thought my doctor was on my insurance plan’s list, but really isn’t? And I can’t find the specialist I need on my insurance plan’s list of doctors. What should I do?

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 112 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans. 


Contact: Pam Udall
phone:(512) 370-1382
cell: (512) 413-6807

Pam Udall  

Contact: Brent Annear
phone: (512) 370-1381
cell: (512) 656-7320

Brent Annear  

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