Digital Member ID Cards, the Insurance World’s Unicorn!

insurance id card
May 10, 2022
James Ashford

A member ID card has long served as proof of insurance. The card also discloses — or gives the provider access to — the member’s coverage information and the billing information needed by the provider. However, not all plans use these cards, especially with an exciting new disrupter entering the field. Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma offers digital cards that members still wishing for a physical card can download and print for themselves.

Purpose of the ID card

Carrying an ID card makes having insurance more tangible. You know you have coverage because you know you have a card. Further, the card makes it easy to provide your insurance coverage information to any new healthcare professionals you are starting to use. The card includes:

  • The name and contact number of your insurance provider.

  • The benefits the plan offers you.

  • The costs you have to pay.

In other words, the member ID card you show your vision healthcare professional with your ID at your first appointment tells the new provider everything they need to know to claim payments for your services. It’s worth noting that many providers take all this information — including scans of your ID card — digitally so that it’s complete even before that first appointment.

Problems with ID cards

Physical ID cards do have some downsides, however. First, the mere fact that they exist means that they can be used for fraud. Someone who has your cards can obtain benefits at least once without ever being aware of it. Moreover, the cards are subject to getting lost. So you need to keep track of your cards, which can be a pain.

From the insurance company’s point of view, the major downside to member ID cards is their expense. The cards cost money to print, money to ship, and money to keep current. In addition, the same fraud that is a problem for you is an expensive problem for the provider who will pay for some portion of those fraudulent claims. The vision providers have dealt with this issue by allowing the member to choose. Members can use the digital process by giving their providers a name and birthdate, or they can print their physical card to carry with them.

Alternatives to physical ID cards

Some insurance companies have stopped providing ID cards to their members. Instead, the healthcare provider must enter a patient’s name (and often birth date or other information) into the insurance company database to obtain coverage and insurance details. This step is time-consuming for the healthcare staff, prone to errors, and overall seen as just plain irritating.

An intriguing new alternative to the traditional ID card is a digital member ID card stored in a phone app. Once you become a member, you can go to the App Store or the Google Play Store to download your provider’s app and digital ID card.

Health insurers have been slow to begin using digital IDs. While nearly all states now accept digital proof of insurance for car insurance, the issue remains mainly open for health insurance. This delay is primarily because most healthcare insurance providers have been reluctant to adapt. Insurance companies are planning for digital apps, cloud storage, and artificial intelligence (AI), but adoption has been lagging so far adoption has been lagging. However, a 2021 report by HFS and Cognizant shows that consumers are more than ready for a phone app ID card.

Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma announces a new app.

Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma has recently launched a new app giving OKC vision care members and other members nationwide convenience in the palm of their hands. From their app’s dashboard, you can find a doctor, access your member card, review your benefits, and see your benefit history. For members, it is now as simple as providing a name and birth date to confirm coverage. They give you control by providing visibility into your benefits, so there are no surprises during that annual eye exam. Those who wish can still print a card from the company’s website or download the new digital membership card. Vision Care Direct is in the vanguard in bringing digital efficiency to its members in Oklahoma and across the country. Let them bring you along today!

Not sure where to get started with recommending self-funded plans? Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma is pre-paid plan provider with and extensive of specialists who deliver eye care in Tulsa and nationwide with excellent value for employers and plan recipients.

Find out more about our self-funded plans and other flexible options.

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