What Is PCN on an Insurance Card?

Updated · May 20, 2022

Reading your health insurance card can be a nightmare.

There are numerous abbreviations. And if you get one number wrong, you might not get the prescription you need.

To help you with that, we define the main terms you’ll come across. We start with the meaning of Rx PCN, then explain what Rx, BIN, and GRP mean.

Read on to learn how to read your insurance card.

What Is PCN on an Insurance Card?

The meaning of Rx PCN is Processor Control Number. It is an 8-character numeric or alphanumeric string.

The Rx PCN is an identification number used to route pharmaceutical transactions. It indicates which processor will handle your claim.

In addition, the PCN is connected to your insurance. It shows whether your insurance plan covers your prescription.

When Do You Need Your PCN?

In most cases, you don’t need to show the PCN on your insurance card to your doctor or pharmacist.

Your member ID will give them the information they need.

That said, there are some instances when a healthcare specialist may need your PCN:

  • If you have private insurance instead of coverage through your employer;
  • If you visit a doctor outside of your network; 
  • If you're ordering medicine online; 
  • If you're transferring prescriptions to another pharmacy. Then, you need to call them and ask for an Rx transfer.

Also, your doctor can use it to check your insurance plan before providing you with services.

Other Important Indicators on Your Insurance Card

Apart from the PCN number, an insurance card might contain other abbreviations.

Let's see what they mean.

What Is Rx?

The Rx symbol on your insurance card indicates that this is a medical prescription.

That means that your health insurance company will pay for part of or all the drugs.

Sometimes, there is a sum next to the Rx.

It tells you how much the insurance company will pay.

What Is an Rx BIN Number?

The Rx BIN symbol on your insurance card means "prescription bank identification number."

It's a six-digit code used to identify insurance providers.

Pharmacists scan it to see which insurance company they need to contact for the reimbursement claim for your prescription.

What Is an Rx Grp Number?

The Grp, also known as an Rx Group number, is a 6-character string that indicates the subscriber's group insurance plan.

It informs the pharmacist about your insurance coverage so they can check the list of medications included in your plan.

How to Read Health Insurance Cards?

We explained what the PCN on your insurance card is and when you might need it.

But is that enough to understand the information on your credit card?

There are different types of health insurance cards depending on the issuer:

  • Government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid
  • Employer-sponsored, such as those from Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Private insurance companies

Each type of card contains slightly different data.

Still, they all include the policyholder's name and member ID. Usually, that provides enough information.

If you need your PCN or Rx BIN but can’t find them, contact your health insurance provider.

Wrap Up

This abbreviation on your insurance card can be confusing.

In this article, we explained what the PCN on your insurance card is and when you might need to use it.

We also defined some other abbreviations you may find on your insurance card.

So, next time you need to fill in your health insurance information, it'll be a breeze.

Aleksandra Yosifova
Aleksandra Yosifova

With an eye for research, Aleksandra is determined to always get to the bottom of things. If there’s a glitch in the system, she’ll find it and make sure you know about it.