Blue Cross Blue Shield consists of 35 separate companies that provide health insurance for roughly one-third of Americans. The company serves all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and many international areas.
While you look into the BCBS affiliates near you, understand what health plans are available as well as the health insurance cost. It offers extensive coverage that gives just about every American the opportunity to purchase a BCBS-affiliated health plan. However, be sure to read up on the company because the premiums and deductibles may not suit you and your circumstances.
- Desire for a new doctor with plenty of options
- No cap on annual maximum limits
- Comprehensive coverage with exclusive discounts and partnerships
- Coverage in all 50 states and outside the country
- Covers both generic and brand-name drugs
- Wide network of doctors, hospitals and specialists
- Plans offered through regional companies, meaning you must look to your regional company for specific policies
- Main customer service helpline may be difficult to reach
Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance Ratings at a Glance
Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance offers coverage for numerous situations like:
- Individual and family plans: You can have an individual policy under BCBS policies. Family plans enable you to enroll all family members that qualify for the same BCBS plan. If you are married, in a partnership or have children, you are likely eligible for enrollment in a family plan.
- Employer group plans: Under this policy, employers can choose the group medical plan that fits their business size and needs. These plans can be lower in costs to both employers and employees.
- Medicare plans: With BCBS, customers have the option between Medicare Advantage, Part D prescription coverage and Medicare Supplement plans for those who qualify. Requirements for Medicare include a minimum age of 65 or having a proper diagnosis of disability. With Medicare Advantage plans, you can bundle for medical and hospital insurance needs. You can also add Part D prescription coverage to your Medicare Advantage plan.
- Health maintenance organization (HMO): The Blue Cross Blue Shield's HMO network includes 44,000 participating providers. The only exception is you will not receive coverage for visits with providers not a part of BCBS's network unless it is an emergency medical service.
- Preferred provider organization (PPO): These plans cost more but offer more flexibility than HMO policies. BCBS's PPO network reaches nearly 47,000 providers. With a PPO, you can still receive coverage for visits not within the BCBS network.
- Catastrophic plan: Typically, these policies have lower premiums than more comprehensive plans. Expect a higher deductible with this policy. BCBS offers BlueChoice HMO Young Adult plans to individuals under the age of 30 at the time of their effective date.
Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance plans have a high-value rating of 4.5 out of five stars for coverages.
Customer satisfaction ratings consider both positive and negative reviews from policyholders. The table below displays BCBS's star rating within each company.
|AM Best Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.58|
|J.D. Power Rating||N/A|
Since BCBS consists of 35 separate insurance companies, there isn't one financial strength rating. You can refer to AM Best, though, which gives BCBS companies an A rating.
Customer satisfaction and service rates vary among the 35 different companies. You can determine ratings based on the individual company you are using. Among the Best Health Insurance Companies for 2021 survey by Insure.com, five BCBS companies made a list out of 10. Satisfaction ratings are between the 70s and 80s. The Better Business Bureau has listings for each specific BCBC location.
The overall customer service rating for BCBS is four out of five stars.
You need to understand some of the most popular terms regarding insurance policies related to price and value.
- Deductibles: Many health insurance policies require you to meet a specific deductible before the company even considers contributing to the cost of medical services. Your deductible is a fixed dollar amount that you, the policyholder, are responsible for paying. Once you meet your deductible, your insurance company will pay for your medical visits and services.
- Coinsurance: Particular policies require you to make coinsurance payments after you meet your deductible. Your insurance picks up the rest of the remaining portion.
- Copays: Some insurance companies require copays instead of coinsurance. Copays are a set dollar amount that you are responsible for paying after meeting your deductible amount. You pay your copay directly to your doctor's office or hospital. You can expect your insurance to pay the remainder of your bill.
|Maximum Annual Out of Pocket||$5,000|
After analyzing the information above, four out of five stars makes sense for BCBS's pricing.
Blue Cross Blue Shield customers can download the mobile app for features like finding in-network doctors, hospitals or urgent care facilities; accessing claims; determining coverage and deductible information; and pulling a temporary digital member ID card. They can also securely log in with Face ID and Fingerprint ID. The app is available for iPhone and Android users. Customers can search for the BCBC app in the Apple Store or on Google Play to download the app.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield app for members is highly convenient and easy to use and offers a secure way to look at information about policies. Members can essentially access their data anytime and anywhere. For that reason, Blue Cross Blue Shield's application experience receives four out of five stars.
Blue Cross Blue Shield vs. Competitors
Blue Cross Blue Shield is a widely and highly successful health insurance company that is not free from the threat of competition. The top three competitors of BCBS are Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and USA Health insurance. The qualities that enable BCBS to stand out among its competitors are the company's massive presence in almost every state; it is the largest health insurance company with the most experienced, comprehensive and affordable health plans available to customers. Finally, it contributes millions of dollars in community investment to help communities prepare for a healthier future.
- Best For:Guaranteed RenewabilityRating:
The bottom line is that BCBS offers excellent health insurance products to all 50 states. The company uses its experience to gain more members every day, which helps many healthcare providers accept it as a form of insurance. You can choose from a variety of insurance policies like health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts and health maintenance organizations. BCBS has excellent customer satisfaction and application experience ratings too. These qualities are enough to rate Blue Cross Blue Shield as a top insurance provider. Hence, it's 4.5 out of a 5-star rating overall.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you find out information about BCBS coverage that is supplemental to Medicare?
BlueCross BlueShield offers plenty of Medicare options like Medicare+Choice, medical savings accounts and private fee-for-service plans. You can access a list of BCBS companies who participate in Medicare Advantage and prescription drug choices. If you have further questions or concerns, reach out to your local Blue Cross Blue Shield representative for more details about your claims or coverage.
What are signs of a health insurance scam?
Unfortunately, you need to be on the lookout for online scams, even regarding health insurance. Keep an eye out for red flags that indicate fraud: aggressive sales pitches that require you to act now; unsolicited insurance offers by fax, phone or email; or a request for a bank account or credit card numbers to get locked into coverage. A good rule of thumb to follow is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.