Real answers to common health insurance questions

You have questions. We have answers. Find out what you need to know.

Real answers to common health insurance questions

I Want to See

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I change plans or add family members?

You can change your health plan during the annual Open Enrollment period, which begins November 1, 2018.

Can I buy health insurance now?

The period for enrolling in a health plan for 2018, called Open Enrollment, ended on December 15, 2017. But if you've had a life event -- such as a marriage, a new child, a move to a new area or you lost coverage through your job -- you could still enroll in health insurance outside of Open Enrollment. Learn more about Special Enrollment Periods.

When does Open Enrollment begin and end?

Open enrollment for 2018 was from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017.

Who's required to have health coverage?

Most Americans are required to have health coverage. You won’t pay a penalty if you:

  • Have coverage through your job
  • Are on Medicare
  • Aren't a U.S. resident
  • Are on Tenncare (Medicaid)
  • Applied for and received a waiver from the federal government

How much is the tax penalty for 2018 if I do not sign up for a health care plan?

The annual tax penalty for 2017 is $695 per adult and $347.50 per child 18 and younger, or 2.5% of your annual taxable household income, whichever is greater. The Penalty for 2018 will be adjusted based on inflation.

Are premium amounts different for plans on versus plans from BlueCross?

No. Premiums are the same whether you buy your plan directly from BlueCross or purchase your plan on

Do I qualify for financial assistance? If so, how much?

See if you qualify for financial assistance with this Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator. Subsidies include a tax credit, which lowers your monthly premium, and cost sharing reductions, which reduce your deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.

Can I get health coverage even if I have a pre-existing health condition?

Yes. You can't be turned down or charged more because of a pre-existing health condition like asthma, back pain, diabetes or cancer.

What do the metallic levels mean?

When you begin shopping you'll see the plan options organized by Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Learn more about metallic levels.

Do you offer dental and vision plans?

Yes. Our adult dental and vision plans must be purchased directly though BlueCross. Dental and vision services for those 18 and yournger are included with all medical plans.

I applied on Did you get my policy information yet?

We should receive your policy information 24 to 48 hours after you submit your application. You'll receive a welcome packet from us within three to five business days after we receive your policy information from

When will I get my Member ID card?

We'll mail your Member ID card as soon as we receive your first monthly premium payment. If you don't pay your first premium in full by the plan's effective date, you won’t be enrolled and you may have to wait until the next Open Enrollment period to get coverage. If you lose your plan due to non-payment, you won't qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

How can I pay my first premium payment?

There are several ways you can make your first premium payment:

  • Online – Making a payment by debit card or e-check is fast and easy. Sign into your BlueAccessSM account on If you don’t have an account, you can log on to to register and setup an account. Once you're logged in, select the My Claims & Balances tab, then select Pay My Premium. If you haven't paid online before, you should click on Register as First-time User and complete the necessary information with the option to pay with debit card or e-check. After submitting your information, you'll see a Payment Confirmation screen that provides a confirmation number and the option to print the page. Once you've registered, you can make future payments by clicking either Pay with Debit Card or Pay with Electronic Check on the Pay My Premium page of BlueAccess.
  • By phone – Call us at 1-855-484-0282, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET, for personalized help when you pay by e-check.
  • By mail – Send a check* for the full premium amount to:
    BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
    Individual Billing
    P.O. Box 5282
    Carol Stream, IL 60197
    * Write your Subscriber ID number on your check.

Do I have to pay the full premium every month?

Yes. Your premium is due in full each month or you may lose your coverage. You cannot get coverage back unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

I’m not getting bills in the mail. What should I do?

If you asked to receive your bills electronically at sign-up, you won't receive paper bills in the mail. Please check the email account you provided when you signed up.

If you didn't select electronic billing, call our Member Service number on the back of your Member ID card.

Am I an On- or Off- Marketplace member?

To find out if you enrolled on or off the Marketplace, check your Group Number on your BlueCross Member ID card.

The On-Marketplace Group Number will be 127600.

The Off-Marketplace Group Number will be 129800.

better TN

Better Tennessee

Better Tennessee celebrates the people and organizations dedicated to improving the health of Tennesseans.

Learn More


Many Tennesseans are already getting assistance. Here's a quick way to find out if you might qualify.

Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator