Updates and Reminders: Submit Predetermination of Benefits Requests via Availity®

October 28, 2020

On July 30, 2020, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) implemented an electronic predetermination of benefits submission process via Availity’s Attachments tool. Updates were recently made to the Attachments tool to better help you with submitting your requests online to BCBSIL.

Updates to Online Availity Submission Process

  • On-screen messaging has been added in the Patient Information section to ensure the patient’s first and last names match exactly as they appear on the eligibility and benefit response to prevent the predetermination request from being rejected. Refer to the Availity Eligibility and Benefits User Guide  for help with verifying patient information online. 
  • The Service From and To date fields have been removed as they are not required for submission.

Make sure you use Availity’s Attachments Dashboard to confirm the online predetermination of benefits submission was accepted or rejected by BCBSIL. For navigational help with this tool, refer to the Electronic Predetermination Request User Guide  located in the Provider Tools section of our website.


  • A predetermination of benefits is a voluntary request for written verification of benefits prior to rendering services. BCBSIL recommends submitting a predetermination of benefits request if the service may be considered experimental, investigational, or unproven, as specified within the BCBSIL Medical Policy.
  • Per the Medical Policy, if photos and/or x-rays are required for review, email this information to Photo Handling. The body of the email should include the patient’s first name and last name, Group number, Subscriber ID and date of birth.
  • Urgent care requests include any request for a predetermination with respect to which the application of the time periods for making non-urgent care determinations:

a.     Could seriously jeopardize the life or health of the member or the
        ability of the member to regain maximum function; or

b.    In the opinion of a physician with knowledge of the member’s
       medical condition, would subject the member to severe pain that
       cannot be adequately managed without the care or treatment that
       is the subject of the request.

  • If you don’t have online access, you may continue to fax and/or mail predetermination of benefit requests along with a completed Predetermination Request Form  and pertinent medical documentation.

For More Information
If you need further help or customized training, contact our Provider Education Consultants.

The information in this notice does not apply to requests for HMO, Medicare Advantage or Illinois Medicaid members.

Please note that the fact that a guideline is available for any given treatment or that a service or treatment has been predetermined for benefits, 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 and the terms of the member’s certificate of coverage applicable on the date the service was rendered.

Availity is a trademark of Availity, LLC, a separate company that operates a health information network to provide electronic information exchange services to medical professionals. Availity provides administrative services to BCBSIL. BCBSIL makes no endorsement, representations or warranties regarding any products or services provided by third party vendors such as Availity. If you have any questions about the products or services provided by such vendors, you should contact the vendor(s) directly.