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Alphanumeric Prefixes Planned for Future Member ID Cards

Effective, April 15, 2018, Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plans (including Horizon BCBSNJ) may begin using alphanumeric prefixes on member ID cards. Currently, most Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey member ID cards display a three-character alpha prefix in the first three positions of the member’s ID number.

Existing member’s alpha prefixes will not change. However, if an existing member moves to a new product and that new product is assigned an alphanumeric prefix, then their alpha prefix will change to an alphanumeric prefix. New alphanumeric prefixes will only be assigned to new plans or new products.

The three-position alpha prefix is a foundational component of the BlueCard® Program. When Horizon BCBSNJ members or members of other Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plans arrive at your office or facility, please continue to ask to see their current member ID cards at each visit. Doing so will help you:

  • Identify the member’s product
  • Obtain health plan contact information
  • Submit claims

There are some exceptions, however. Member ID cards for the following products and programs do not include a three-character alpha prefix.1 These will remain unchanged:

  • Stand-alone vision and pharmacy when delivered through an intermediary model
  • Stand-alone dental products
  • The BCBS Federal Employee Program® (FEP®) – The letter “R” appears in front of the ID number

How does this impact me?
Horizon BCBSNJ and other Blue Plans are providing advance notice of this upcoming change so that practices and facilities may analyze and remediate their own systems, as appropriate, to ensure they will allow a three-character alphanumeric prefix format.


1 Follow instructions on these ID cards to verify eligibility, submit claims and obtain health plan contact information.

System modifications to allow for numeric characters should be implemented effective April 15, 2018.

Member ID cards and prefixes are for identification purposes only; they do not guarantee eligibility or payment of your claim. Always verify patient eligibility by signing in to NaviNet.

Published on: November 14, 2017, 03:07 a.m. ET
Last updated on: January 11, 2018, 03:40 a.m. ET