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Blue Cross Blue Shield Review

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1 Minute Review

Blue Cross Blue Shield is an established health insurance company that can offer you a number of coverages. Its provider network is expansive, which means you can likely find a doctor who accepts insurance near you. There are no annual maximum limits on any level of BCBS’s health insurance policies and its reviews are mostly favorable all across the country.

Best For

  • Comprehensive coverage options
  • Exclusive discounts and partnerships

Pros

  • Coverage in all 50 states and outside the country
  • Covers both generic and brand-name drugs
  • Wide network of doctors, hospitals and specialists

Cons

  • 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
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On the hunt for the best health insurance that fits your budget? Benzinga’s guide to Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance can help you determine whether BCBS is the best insurance provider for you. Here’s what you need to know.

Who’s Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance for?

Overall, BCBS is a good fit for anyone who needs insurance. The company has several options to choose from, whether you need a full health insurance plan, vision, dental or Medicare. But there are a few specific groups of people it could attract:

  • Members who may be moving: Blue Cross Blue Shield can help you extend your coverage to other areas in the United States. It can also offer coverage if you reside outside of the United States or if you are traveling.
  • Young adults: Blue Cross Blue Shield offers an exclusive plan to individuals under the age of 30.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Products

Blue Cross Blue Shield is broken up into local companies. Its subsidiaries can offer you many insurance products, including:

  • Dental insurance: Believe it or not, your dental health can affect every part of your body and Blue Cross Blue Shield offers insurance coverage for both preventive care and more intensive procedures. It’ll cover your regular checkups and cleanings and fillings, root canals and X-rays. You can even receive personalized dental health advice through Blue Cross Blue Shield’s “Ask a Hygienist” program.
  • Health insurance: Blue Cross Blue Shield offers health insurance policies across the country. If you have a broker near you, it can offer you more specific information about the plans available in your area. You may be eligible for a health insurance plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield through the State of Health marketplace in your state. Again, your local agent can help you navigate the options specific to the area in which you live.
  • Medicare plans: Blue Cross Blue Shield offers Medicare Advantage plans in some regions. Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative Medicare option offered by private insurance companies. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage from Part D Medicare, as well as Medicare Supplement plans. You can choose from Medicare Advantage plans to select the one that best fits your budget and needs. 
  • Vision insurance: Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a vision insurance plan called Blue View Vision. These plans cover check-ups and eye exams. It also offers allowances for the glasses and contacts you need throughout your plan year. You can add Blue View Vision plans to your Blue Cross Blue Shield health or dental insurance plans. Or if you’d rather, you can purchase Blue Cross Blue Shield’s vision plan on its own.

Available Discounts and Tips on Getting the Best Rates

There are a few things you should take into consideration to find the most affordable health insurance plans.

  • Consider the type of coverage you need. Are you relatively healthy and don’t anticipate making trips to the doctor beyond your annual checkup? You may want to select a high-deductible plan. This type of plan may help lower your monthly premiums. However, you will have to pay more out of pocket before your health insurance coverage kicks in and pays your medical bills. You may want to select a plan with a lower deductible if you anticipate needing more from your health insurance. A lower-deductible plan means you’ll likely pay a higher monthly premium. However, this can save you money in the long run because your health insurance will cover your medical bills sooner.
  • See if you’re eligible for discounts or tax credits. Each state has a health marketplace. You can visit your state’s health marketplace website to start this process. From there, answer some questions about your household income and job status to determine your eligibility. You can then browse health plans you’re eligible for. Each state’s health marketplace also offers a customer support line to call if you have questions about the process, plans or your eligibility. 
  • Check with your employer. Some employers offer group health insurance plans to their employees. Your employer may also contribute to your health insurance premiums through this plan. You may also be able to have your premium payments come directly out of your paycheck if you enroll in your employer’s group health insurance plan.

Blue Cross Blue Shield also offers several benefits with its health insurance plans, including:

  • Discounts and coupons for meal subscription services such as Sun Basket
  • Discounts on pet health insurance
  • Upgrades with phone carriers
  • Dental discounts
  • Discounts on fitness products such as smartwatches, headphones and water bottles

Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Coverage Selections

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers insurance coverage for a number of situations:

  • Individual and family plans: Blue Cross Blue Shield can offer you an individual plan. If you’re married, in a domestic partnership or have children, you may also be eligible to enroll in a family plan. Your family plan will allow you to enroll your qualified family members in the same Blue Cross Blue Shield plan.
  • Employer group plans: Blue Cross Blue Shield offers group plans to employers. Employers can choose the group medical plan that fits their business size and needs. Employer group plans can offer lower costs to both employers and employees.
  • Medicare Plans: Blue Cross Blue Shield offers Medicare Advantage, Part D prescription coverage and Medicare Supplement plans to qualified individuals. To qualify for Medicare, you must be 65 or be diagnosed with a qualifying disability. Medicare Advantage plans offer bundled Medicare coverage for both your medical and hospital insurance needs. You can also add Part D prescription coverage to your Medicare Advantage plan.

You will also be able to choose from a few different plan types to best meet your needs:

  • Health maintenance organization (HMO): With an HMO plan, your Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance will allow you to see any of its 44,000 participating providers. These providers are all within the Blue Cross Blue Shield network. You will not receive coverage for visits with any providers that are not within Blue Cross Blue Shield’s network unless it is an emergency medical service.
  • Preferred provider organization (PPO): A PPO plan offers more flexibility than an HMO plan. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s PPO network offers more than 47,000 providers. You can still receive coverage if you visit a provider that is not within the Blue Cross Blue Shield network. However, you can expect higher costs if you visit a provider that does not participate with your Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO plan.
  • Catastrophic plan: Catastrophic plans typically offer lower premiums than more comprehensive plans. You can also expect a higher deductible with a catastrophic plan. Blue Cross Blue Shield offers its BlueChoice HMO Young Adult plan to individuals under the age of 30 at the time of their effective date. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield only offers health-related insurance. This includes plans that cover your health needs as well as dental, vision and prescription drugs. This can be beneficial because you know that your health insurance company is committed to health insurance alone. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield does partner with other organizations to offer other types of insurance and financial products. You can speak with a local agent to discuss discounts that may be available to you as a member.

Pricing and Value

Become familiar with some of the most popular terms associated with insurance policies so you understand pricing and value. Here are some terms to know:

  • Deductibles: Most health insurance plans require you to meet a deductible before the company will begin to contribute to the cost of your medical services. The deductible is a set dollar amount that you’re responsible for paying. When you visit a doctor or hospital, you should always give them your insurance card. If you have not yet met your deductible, the cost of your visit or service will count toward your deductible if it is a covered expense. Once you have met your deductible, your insurance company will start to pay for your medical visits and services.
  • Coinsurance: Your plan may require you to make coinsurance payments after you’ve met your deductible. Your coinsurance payments will be a set percentage of each medical visit you have or the medical service you receive. You will pay this percentage directly to the doctor’s office or hospital that provided your medical service. Your insurance plan will then pay the remaining percentage.
  • Copays: Some insurance policies require copays instead of coinsurance. Copays are a fixed dollar amount you’re responsible for paying after you meet your deductible amount. Like coinsurance payments, you will be responsible for paying your copay directly to your doctor or hospital’s office. Your insurance plan will pay the rest of your bill.

The price you pay is divided between all of these factors. You should carefully evaluate each plan to determine which option best fits your budget.

Customer Service

Blue Cross Blue Shield most likely has a local company website that has detailed information about your coverage. You can contact your local company if you have any questions or need assistance. Call 1-888-630-2583.

Claims Support

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers easy access to your claims with your online account.

Once you’re logged into your account, you can follow the directs to submit your out-of-network claims. You can then email your claim or mail it to the appropriate Blue Cross Blue Shield office.

How to Enroll

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