Checklist for Changing Health Plans in the New Year

Amy Barczy

| 4 min read

Amy Barczy is a brand journalist at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and writes for AHealthierMichigan.org and MIBluesPerspectives.com. Prior to joining Blue Cross, she was a statewide news reporter for MLive.com. She has a decade of storytelling experience in local news media markets including Lansing, Grand Rapids, Holland, Ann Arbor and Port Huron.

If you made changes to your health insurance coverage during the open enrollment period during fall 2023, they’ll take effect beginning Jan. 1, 2024. There are some things you’ll want to do right away in 2024 to make sure any health care you receive in the new year is billed correctly.
Whether you’re a new member with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network – or just switching plans – here’s a checklist to start the year off right with your health coverage.

1. Log in to your online member account

Blue Cross and Blue Care Network members can log in to their member accounts, or register for one, on our website at www.bcbsm.com or using the Blue Cross mobile app. Go to “My Coverage” to see:
  • Your office visit copay
  • What you pay and what your plan pays
  • The kinds of services your plan helps pay for

2. ID card

If you have switched plans or are a new member, watch for your new insurance ID card in the mail and bring it with you for any health care appointment. You’ll want to take it with you to the pharmacy and to any dental or vision appointments if you have coverage.
Blue Cross and BCN members can access their ID cards online by logging in to their member account at www.bcbsm.com or through the mobile app anytime. The mobile version of the ID card is always up to date.

3. Check your coverage

Blue Cross and BCN members can check their coverage online through their member accounts. It’s good to review your health plan coverage in the new year, especially if you’ve recently switched plans, to understand if your providers are in your network. You can also check to see how your prescriptions are covered under your plan.

4. Find a primary care doctor if you have an HMO

If you are a member with an HMO plan, you and any covered family members will need to see a primary care physician this year. The primary care doctor must coordinate your services for care to be covered and may need to make referrals or authorizations in order for you to see a specialist. Find a primary care doctor in your network by logging in to your online account. Log in, then search and select a primary care physician here:  Find a Doctor.
It’s a good idea for members with the PPO plan to find a primary care doctor as well, as annual well-visits and certain screenings are offered at no additional cost and can help prevent and detect chronic conditions.

5. HSA 

If you elected to have a health savings account, or HSA, in 2024, take time to educate yourself on how you can use your HSA. Learn more here. 
A HSA is an account you use to pay for qualified medical, pharmacy, dental and vision expenses and save on taxes. They are paired with high-deductible health plans.

6. Update your information

Bring your new ID card with you to all of your health care appointments in 2023 to make sure you update your health insurance information on file with each office. Think about who you need to see this year: dentist, optometrist, primary care physician and any specialists you may see. Also update your health insurance information with your pharmacy and any mail order pharmacy service you may use.

7. If you’re on a family plan, update the information for a spouse or any dependents 

Follow the same steps to update health insurance information with the providers that your spouse and any dependents see as well.

When you can make changes to your new plan

The 2024 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) ended on Jan. 16 in most states. So, during that window you can only make changes to your plan if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
You qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you’ve had certain life events, including losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child, or if your household income is below a certain amount.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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