Referrals and Prior Authorizations


Referrals are required under the HealthSelect of Texas® plan.

A referral is a written order from your primary care provider (PCP) for you to see a specialist. For most services, you need to get a referral before you can get medical care from anyone except your PCP. If you don't get a referral before you get services, you will get out-of-network benefits. In most cases, a referral is good for 12 months.

You do not need a referral for:

  • Covered vision care, including routine and diagnostic eye exams
  • OB/GYN visits
  • Mental health counseling
  • Chiropractic visits
  • Occupational therapy and physical therapy
  • Virtual Visits, urgent care centers and convenience care clinics

Prior Authorizations

BCBSTX must approve certain covered health services before you get them. This is called a prior authorization. Prior authorization requirements apply to all of the HealthSelect plans except HealthSelectSM Secondary. In general, your network PCP and other network providers are responsible for obtaining prior authorization before they provide these services to you. There are some covered health services, however, for which you are responsible for obtaining prior authorization.

You can see the status of your referrals and prior authorizations by logging in to your Blue Access for MembersSM account.

Continuing and transitioning care

If you are currently receiving ongoing treatment from a doctor who is leaving the HealthSelect network, you may be able to continue treatment with that doctor temporarily. This is called transition of care. To continue with your care, certain eligibility guidelines need to be met. Fill out a transition of care form. You can submit the form by mail or fax to BCBSTX.

To find out if you qualify for transition of care, BCBSTX may need to request medical information from your current provider(s). If you are approved for transition of care, in-network benefits may be available for up to 90 days after your provider leaves the network.

Medical conditions that may be eligible for transition of care benefits include:

  • Pregnancy in the second and third trimester
  • Long-term treatment of cancer, heart disease or transplants
  • Terminal illness if life expectancy is less than six months

Download the transition of care form.

Learn more about selecting a PCP.