Why is the alpha prefix so important?

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The three-character* alpha prefix is the key element used to identify members and route out-of-area claims. The alpha prefix identifies the Blue Plan or national account to which the member belongs. It is critical for confirming a patient's membership and coverage. The remaining portion of the member's ID consists of seven to 14 alpha and/or numeric characters. We suggest you make copies of the front and back of the member's ID card and share this information with your billing staff.

It's important that you do not add or delete any alpha/numeric characters in the member's ID number.

*You may see member ID cards with a four-character alpha prefix (e.g., members of HMSA Blue Cross Blue Shield of Hawaii).


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