Anthem Blue Cross New ID Cards Reflect Pharmacy Changes

October 25th, 2018

Anthem Blue Cross is updating pharmacy information on their ID cards to give their members a better experience at the drugstore. Your clients will receive a new ID card at renewal, starting in October 2018 and continuing through April 1, 2019. Groups scheduled to renew between May 2019 and October 1, 2019 will get a new ID card off renewal in the months of February and March 2019.

Pharmacy changes

The new ID card will reflect new, Anthem-owned BIN and PCN numbers (used for processing prescription drug claims) and toll-free numbers for Pharmacy Member Services. These changes will help direct members and pharmacists to the right support, when they have questions about drug benefits.

Most members (about 85%) will get new cards during their plan’s regular renewal period, even if they don’t have any changes to their benefits at that time. The rest will get a card with the new numbers during the first quarter of 2019 outside of their plan’s regular renewal cycle, and then another card when their plan renews to reflect any applicable benefit changes. As a result, some members will get two ID cards within the same year.

Anthem Blue Cross is trying to make these changes as seamless as possible, so the current BIN and PCN numbers will continue to work. But it’s important that members discard their old card and start using the newest one with the new numbers right after they receive it.

Frequently Asked Questions about this change

Why is Anthem Blue Cross changing pharmacy information on the ID cards?
They are replacing Pharmacy BIN and PCN indicators or numbers with new Anthem-owned BIN and PCN numbers. By owning these numbers, they can better manage when and how the numbers are used and be less reliant on vendors. Also, they’re adding a new toll-free number for Pharmacy Member Services and renaming the current Pharmacist Questions phone number as Help for Pharmacists. These improvements will help direct members and pharmacists to the right support.

What are BIN and PCN numbers?
All pharmacies use BIN and PCN numbers for processing prescription drug claims. The BIN number tells the computer database at the pharmacy which health insurance provider is to receive the claim for the prescription. The PCN number is a second identifier that is used for routing claims.

Can my clients opt out of these changes?
No, these changes are mandatory, and they will help give our members a smooth transition and make sure they can access their prescription drug benefits.

Why are they adding a separate Member Services toll-free number for pharmacy?
They created a separate member toll-free number to direct pharmacy-related calls more efficiently to a dedicated Pharmacy Member Services team. Having this number means that pharmacy experts will help answer member questions about their prescription drug benefits. It also will reduce customer effort in seeking help, which is a measure they’re tracking to assess member satisfaction. While a new pharmacy toll-free number will be listed, members will still be able to get their pharmacy questions answered through the general Member Services number.