UTS Tools


Retirees of the University of Texas System and their Medicare-eligible dependents now enroll in UT CARETM. Approximately 30,000 members utilize UT CARE in all 254 counties in Texas and nationwide leveraging open access to care. 

UT CARE is an open access Medicare Advantage PPO plan that may be referenced as Blue Cross Group Medicare Advantage Open Access PPOSM or UT CARE Medicare PPO.

The open access allows patients to receive treatment from both:

  • Providers contracted in the Blue Cross Group Medicare Advantage Open Access (PPO) plan or 
  • Providers who are not contracted with BCBSTX; however, they accept Medicare 

Open Access Reminders

  • Plan members may see any provider in the U.S. who accepts Medicare assignment.
  • Providers submit claims to BCBSTX, regardless of the provider’s contract or network status with BCBSTX.
  • The provider doesn’t need to participate in BCBSTX Medicare Advantage networks or in any other BCBSTX networks.
  • PCP selection or referrals are not required.
  • Prior authorization may be required for certain services from BCBSTX Medicare Advantage-contracted providers. Learn more
  • Non-participating providers aren’t required to follow utilization management guidelines. However, they may request a review to confirm medical necessity.
  • Approximately 6,000 participants living outside of Texas have access to BlueCard which enables our members to obtain health care services while traveling or living in another Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan’s service area.

How to Identify UT CARE Members 

  • The Plan name UT CARE Medicare PPO
  • No group number will be on ID Card

ID Card Reminders

Call Customer Service: 1-877-842-7562 to provide the following:

  • Member ID* Prefix: ZZT
  • Member date of birth: MM/DD/YYYY

ID Card Quick Reference Tips

  • Each member receives a NEW member ID number and card.
  • The entire member ID number including prefix must be updated to verify benefits and successfully process claims.
  • Be sure to replace the patient’s previous member number with the new UT CARE number in your records.

Verification of Benefits

Use the Availity Essentials  or your preferred vendor to check eligibility and benefits or

Call Customer Service: 1-877-842-7562 to provide the following:

o   Full Member ID number with alpha prefix letters: ZZTU12345678 on front of member ID card

o   Member date of birth MM/DD/YYYY format

Behavioral Health Care Management Program

BCBSTX manages mental health benefits and services for UT CARE Medicare PPO. Learn more

Outpatient Clinical Laboratory Information

All Plan providers should refer members to in-network lab providers for outpatient lab services. To locate participating labs in the Plan network, visit Statewide In-Network Clinical Labs for UT CARE Members include:

Refer to Provider Finder® for additional participating clinical laboratories and other providers.

Helpful Information  

Verification of eligibility and/or benefit information is not a guarantee of payment. Benefits will be determined once a claim is received and will be based upon, among other things, the member’s eligibility, any claims received during the interim period and the terms of the member’s certificate of coverage applicable on the date services were rendered.

Availity is a trademark of Availity, L.L.C., a separate company that operates a health information network to provide electronic information exchange services to medical professionals. Availity provides administrative services to BCBSTX.

PPO plans provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, which refers to HCSC Insurance Services Company (HISC) and GHS Insurance Company (GHSIC). PPO employer/union group plans provided by Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company (HCSC). HCSC, HISC, and GHSIC are Independent Licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. HCSC, HISC, and GHSIC are Medicare Advantage organizations with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in these plans depends on contract renewal.