Health Care Debit Cards

Some Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan members are starting to carry health care debit cards, new medical ID cards that are easy to recognize and simple to use.

As of January 1, 2005, some Blue members have a new BlueCross and/or BlueShield health care debit card – a card with value-added features to help providers collect the amounts members owe. 

Using the cards can help you:

  • Reduce bad debt.
  • Reduce paperwork for billing statements.
  • Minimize bookkeeping and patient account functions for handling cash and checks. 
  • Avoid unnecessary claim payment delays.

The card allows members to pay for out-of-pocket costs using funds from their Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). Some cards are "stand-alone" debit cards to cover out-of-pocket costs, while others also serve as member ID cards with member ID numbers.

Easy to Recognize

The card will have the nationally recognized BlueCross and/or BlueShield logos, along with the logo from a major debit card company such as MasterCard®  or Visa®. MasterCard and Visa are independent financial services companies that do not provide BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina products or services. MasterCard and Visa are solely responsible.

Sample Stand-Alone Debit Card

Debit Cards





Sample Stand-Alone Debit Card and Member ID Card

Member ID and Debit Card




Easy to Use

The cards include magnetic strips so you can swipe them at the point of service to collect what members owe. With health debit cards, members can pay copayments and other out-of-pocket expenses by swiping their cards through any debit card swipe terminal. The funds will be deducted automatically from the member’s appropriate HRA, HSA or FSA account.

Easy to Save

Combining a health insurance ID card with a source of payment is an added convenience for members and providers. Members can use their cards to pay outstanding balances on billing statements. They can also use their cards via phone to process payments. In addition, members are more likely to carry their current ID cards because of the payment capabilities. If your office currently accepts credit card payments, there is no additional cost or equipment necessary. The cost to you is the same as the current cost you pay to swipe any other signature debit card.

Helpful Tips

  • Ask members for their current member ID cards and regularly make new photocopies of them front and back. By keeping copies of their current cards, you can submit claims with the appropriate member information (including prefix) and avoid unnecessary claims payment delays. 
  • Check eligibility and benefits by calling 800-676-BLUE (2583) and providing the prefix, or by using My Insurance ManagerSM
  • If the member presents a debit card (stand-alone or combined), be sure to verify the copayment amounts before processing the payment.  
  • Please do not use the card to process full payment up front. If you have any questions about the member’s benefits, please contact 800-676-BLUE (2583). For questions about debit card processing instructions or payment issues, please contact the toll-free debit card administrator’s number on the back of the card.