Submit Benefit Preauthorization Requests Online for Intensive Outpatient Program and Electroconvulsive Therapy Services

Posted February 20, 2019

Providers offering behavioral health intensive outpatient program (IOP) or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) services now have the option to use iExchange®, our online benefit preauthorization tool. iExchange may be used to submit benefit preauthorization requests for IOP and ECT services for Blue Cross and Blue Illinois (BCBSIL) members with commercial and on/off-exchange health plans. For instructions on how to submit online benefit preauthorization requests through iExchange, refer to our new tip sheet.

iExchange is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.* It may be accessed by physicians, professional providers and facilities who have obtained a provider record with BCBSIL. Refer to the iExchange page on our Provider website for more information, including our online enrollment form, to sign up and gain access. Or, if you are already a registered Availity® Provider Portal user, you may enroll to use iExchange via BCBSIL’s Payer Spaces – select the Resource tab, then “Pre Auth Registration.” There is no cost to use iExchange or Availity.

Customized training is available for providers who are new to iExchange. To request training, email our Provider Education Consultants at For ongoing support, send an email to, or call 800-746-4614.

Important Reminder: Always Check Eligibility and Benefits First 

It’s critical to check eligibility and benefits for each patient to confirm coverage details. This step will also help identify benefit preauthorization requirements and specify utilization management vendors that must be used, if applicable. Submit online eligibility and benefits requests (electronic 270 transactions) via the Availity Portal or your preferred web vendor portal. Obtaining benefit preauthorization is not a substitute for checking eligibility and benefits.

Learn More About iExchange and Availity

BCBSIL also offers ongoing general webinars that emphasize using electronic options.

  • Join us for an iExchange webinar to learn how to access and navigate our online benefit preauthorization tool.
  • Also sign up for a BCBSIL Back to Basics: “Availity 101” webinar for an overview of electronic transactions, such as eligibility and benefits, which may be conducted via the Availity Portal.

To register to attend, visit the Webinars page. Questions? Contact your Provider Network Consultant (PNC).

This information does not apply to services for HMO members.

* With the exception of the third Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Please note that checking eligibility or benefits, or the fact that a service has been preauthorized, 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 services were rendered. If you have any questions, call the number on the member’s ID card.

iExchange is a trademark of Medecision, Inc., a separate company that provides collaborative health care management solutions for payers and providers. 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 Medecision and Availity. If you have any questions about the products or services provided by such vendors, you should contact the vendor(s) directly.