66% of BlueCross BlueShield Reviews Are 4 or 5 Stars

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Written by: Alice Stevens | Best Company Editorial Team

Last Updated: June 19th, 2020

Topics: research

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BlueCross BlueShield has earned the top spot in health insurance on Best Company. It has earned a 3.6 user star rating, and 66 percent of its reviews are 4 or 5 stars.

If these numbers seem just average or a little low, consider that 41 percent of health insurance reviews were 1-star in 2019. Since complaints are common for the health insurance industry, what look like average ratings are actually quite good.

BlueCross BlueShield has also earned a 5.35 out of 10 net promoter score. This score indicates how likely reviewers are to recommend the company to a friend. A score of 5.35 may seem low, but the average for the health insurance industry is 4.14 out of 10. BlueCross BlueShield's net promoter score is above average.

So, what is BlueCross BlueShield doing right? I looked at 4- and 5- star reviews to find out.

The most significant areas of success were customer service, coverage, and reliability and quality.

graph of common praise in blue cross blue shield 4 and 5 star reviews

Customer service

The most commonly mentioned positive experience with BlueCross BlueShield was customer service. Roughly 44 percent of reviews had praise for BlueCross BlueShield's customer service.

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Customer Review: Linda Hill

"The best part of Blue Cross is their customer service. They are very patient and willing to take the time to explain your benefits."

Customers appreciate BlueCross BlueShield's commitment to clarity and making sure they understand their benefits and claims.

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Customer Review: Thomas Hullinger from Pleasant Grove, Utah

"BlueCross BlueShield has made it easy for me to take care of my health and the health of my family.  They give you the information up front to make an informed decision and help you every step of the way.  Top notch care from top notch doctors and nurses."

Clarity isn't the only thing that BlueCross BlueShield customer service gets right. Members also appreciate how responsive BlueCross BlueShield is when they have questions or concerns.

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Customer Review: AJ and Maria Ferguson from Riverton, Utah

"We have had BlueCross Blue Shield for many years. They have always been great in paying claims quickly. Their customer service has always been quick to respond and find the answers to my questions or help empower me with knowledge that I have needed when there has been a discrepancy with a provider."

Another satisfied BlueCross BlueShield member was impressed by the care shown by company representatives.

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Customer Review: Brandy Rudy from West Jordan, Utah

"I have had BlueCross BlueShield insurance coverage off and on since I was in college.  The coverage and customer service remain impeccable and I highly recommend them.  They send monthly updates on my coverage along with my usage and any concerns.  They are truly concerned with me and my family receiving the best medical available."

If you purchase a health plan from BlueCross BlueShield, these reviews show that you can expect clarity, caring, and quick responses from customer service. These traits of BlueCross BlueShield customer service are especially important because health insurance is where your health and finances meet. 

Coverage

Positive reviews also frequently mentioned satisfaction with coverage offered by the plans. You're buying health insurance for coverage, so knowing that BlueCross BlueShield members are happy with coverage is reassuring. 

Roughly 36 percent of 4- and 5-star reviews mentioned satisfaction with coverage.

Erin Glendening from Pearl River, Louisiana "Through Blue Cross Blue Shield I have been able to get all of my needed medicines covered, as well as doctors visits."

 

Brenda Mertes from Houston, Texas "I have never had any issues with this company. They are decently priced and cover a multitude of tests and procedures that my family has needed, without hassle. They are also very cooperative with my son's doctors when a peer-to-peer review is necessary."

Peter Vanderslice "Excellent. I just had a series of heart attacks and they paid for the helicopter ride and a $113,000 of hospital expense."

Coverage and provider network satisfaction were often mentioned together. Roughly 19 percent of reviewers were satisfied with the network coverage.

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Customer Review: Jake from American Fork, Utah

"Our favorite insurance we have had is Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Their coverage of different things was very good.  We also really liked their network of doctors and hospitals and urgent care facilities.  It was very nice to know that they had such a wide range of coverage that was covered in network."

Covered services and network size are both important because you don't want to buy a health plan from an insurer that doesn't have a good selection of providers in your area. If your area has many providers that accept your plan, it's easier to save money on care.

Brianna Bourgeois from Long Beach, Mississippi "I have never been turned down for my insurance. I have always had a small copay and that was it. I am thankful that I have such a reliable insurance company because I almost never have to worry if it will be accepted." Tilda from St. George, Utah "Coverage was great, and love that I can use them were ever I traveled in state."

Reliability and quality

BlueCross BlueShield's general reliability and quality were mentioned by about 33 percent of reviews.

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Customer Review: Jerry and Janette Jack

"Overall, they are excellent. I have had them on/off since the 1980's and they have improved vastly in that time."

Improvement over the years shows that BlueCross BlueShield is committed to offering its plan members top notch services and plans.

General reliability 

Health challenges are stressful enough without the added stress of an unreliable health plan or difficulties with insurance.

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Customer Review: Teagan Hickman from Salt Lake City, Utah

"We have always had reliable insurance with bcbs they process their claims quickly"

Knowing that reliability is one of BlueCross BlueShield's strengths offers peace of mind.

General quality

Quality is challenging to pin down because it encompasses many aspects of a health insurance company. Quality shows up in coverage, customer service, and more, but it can be articulated in vague terms.

Martha Gourley from Pleasant Grove, Utah "I took care of my elderly mother for years.  Blue Cross Blue Shield was the only insurance she would let me purchase for her.  Served her well." Alicia "Love them they have really taken care of me" Michelle W. from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania "My husband and I have this now, and I'm grateful we do. Our plan is perfect for us, and BCBS is a wonderful organization to work with when it comes to our health."

While these statements of how much people like having BlueCross BlueShield don't offer much in terms of specifics, they are indicators of general satisfaction.

Other positive traits

Customer service, coverage, and reliability and quality aren't the only things BlueCross BlueShield is getting right. These other aspects were not as commonly mentioned in reviews, but are still worth highlighting.

Reviewers on Best Company were happy with the cost (17 percent), claims and paperwork (15 percent), value (9 percent), plan options (3 percent), and plan perks, meaning health incentive programs like Blue365®, (1 percent).

Cost and value

Generally, 4- and 5-star reviewers thought the rates were fair and were happy with the service and coverage they received in exchange.

It's challenging to find an affordable health plan that offers the coverage you need. When customers mention reasonable rates and are happy with out-of-pocket costs, that's good news.

Mark Wells from Dallas, Texas "Ever since signing up with Blue Cross Blue Shield my medical bills have basically been covered. Coming from a low income household every penny helps and they've helped me save so much money. Anytime I need to call in someone is always very helpful." Becky Heward from Mesa, Arizona "Well known company, accepted by most physicians and hospitals.  Have pretty reasonable rates and customer service."

Steven Davis also recognized the value offered by BlueCross BlueShield, even if the rates were a little higher.

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Customer Review: Steven Davis from Maineville, Ohio

"Retired federal employee this is the best I have ever delt with and have delt with many.  You get what you pay for, excemptional customer service and year-end tax info returns.  Hospitals and Doctors love this insurance because of the service they provide (just ask, I did), no questions.  Have never had a collections issue or billing.  Customer oriented  company.  I will pay more for better service and that’s what I get."

If you can afford to pay a little higher costs, the value and service offered by BlueCross BlueShield is worth it.

Claims and paperwork

Claims processing and getting the paperwork right are important for you and your doctors. Doctors need to be paid for their work, and you need to understand how your plan covered those costs and what you owe your provider.

Mickey Mangum from Long Beach, MS "I am a state employee and we use Blue Cross Blue Shield. Every claim I've had has been handled quickly and professionally. I would strongly recommend them." BLF from Pleasant Grove, Utah "We have been with BlueCross BlueShield for several years now.  They process my claims within 4-6 weeks and have been very helpful when any problems arise.  I have had no problems contacting customer service." Aidan Keogh from Ogden, Utah "BlueCross BlueShield has been great insurance company.  They were quick to pay and to explain the benefits.  The network and coverage has worked well for our family."

Plan options and perks

If you're looking for an insurer, it's essential that it offers a health plan that meets your coverage and financial needs. You're more likely to find a plan that works for you when your health insurance provider offers a wide selection of options.

Bryndie from Managua, Minnesota "Really good plans for a lot of people. Accepted at a wide range of places, and very easy to work with." Liana from Colorado Springs, Colorado "They have a decent spread of low-deductible and high-deductible options, and were the most affordable for me."

Many health insurance companies are offering perks and incentives programs to encourage wellness among their members. While these certainly aren't a dealbreaker when choosing an insurance company, these programs are a nice feature and add value.

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Customer Review: Kristie Pierocich from Long Beach, Mississippi

"We’ve had BCBS federal for many many years and the coverage and incentives are the best around."

If you're looking for a health plan with a robust provider network and good value from an insurer that manages its claims and paperwork well and offers clarity, BlueCross BlueShield is an excellent insurance company to work with.

Negative experiences

Unfortunately, roughly a quarter of customers (26 percent) rating BlueCross BlueShield so highly also mentioned negative aspects and experiences. The most common concerns related to cost, coverage, claims, customer service, and network difficulties.

graph of common BCBS complaints in 4 and 5 star reviews

It's important to understand that despite these concerns, these reviewers still gave BlueCross BlueShield high ratings and had good things to say about the company. In other words, even with the occasional difficulty, reviewers were still largely satisfied with their insurance.

Cost

The most common concern (32 percent) expressed by these customers had to do with cost. Some expressed regret for needing to switch companies because plans became too expensive to keep.

Aunt Cathy from Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi "Wish we were still with them, tho they gotten pretty expensive.. But they paid EVERYTHING for my son's knew surgery and PT. there was no limit on appts he needed.. My hysterectomy , I think cost me $200 to $300. PERIOD!! They took care of us" Tyler Williams from Gilbert, Arizona "I really enjoyed using BCBS.  Coverage was good overall and I was pleased with the number of qualified doctors offered in my plan.  One concern was pricing.  It seems rates are always going up."

Another reviewer felt that it was worth paying higher costs:

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Customer Review: Richard

"Blue Cross has been the best provider I have had for 30+ years. We had switched providers many times, but have always returned Blue Cross. The extra monthly payments have been worth the coverage and services."

It's hard to find a good health plan that fits your budget. However, if a BlueCross BlueShield plan does fit into your budget, you can know that you're buying a quality plan.

Coverage

The second most common concern was coverage (18 percent). 

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Customer Review: Karen Nelson from Alpine, Utah

"They occasionally are a hassle for us and don't cover things that we think they should. We have had to write a few letter to them to try to get them to cover different medicines and treatment, but other than that they have been pretty good at taking care of us."

Be sure to understand how a plan works and check the Summary of Benefits before enrolling, so you have a better idea what to expect and know what's covered.

Claims and customer service

Issues with claims and customer service tied for third (16 percent of reviews with negative experiences). 

No one wants to deal with claims difficulties, but they do happen from time to time. Customers who rated BlueCross BlueShield highly were no exception.

Lorna Johnston from West Valley City, Utah "We were insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield through my husband’s employment for nearly many years. My husband was hit by a truck while riding his bicycle and was severely injured. Everything was covered as per the policy. The only thing that was annoying was that every submission for the same accident which included many providers was first denied as out of network. I had to call for each one to explain that he had been taken by ambulance to the hospital that was designated and hospitals are rotated which is covered. They didn’t flag the file that this was the case which seemed like it should have been automatic." Tammy Brady from Gilbert, Arizona "Been a customer for six years. Like the flexibility in choice of plans. Coverage is good and doctor choice is also expansive. Have had a couple of problems submitting claims for reimbursement. Had to submit numerous class multiple times."

Be aware that issues with claims can arise, and be prepared to handle them whether you choose BlueCross BlueShield or another company.

Customer service complaints tended to focus on trouble getting ahold of representatives.

Lindsay from Norcross, Georgia "I called bcbs recently to inquire about how much they would pay for a procedure. The man was patient but not very helpful in that I couldn’t get the answer I needed. I usually have had a good experience with them , however, it was just that one time." Steve Love "I have a medigap policy with Blue Cross. They are very good at paying claims and I have a lot of them. Sometimes they ar a little difficult to get a hold of but I rarely have to contact them which is a good thing!"

Provider network

Concerns with provider networks were mentioned by 13 percent of reviewers who mentioned negative experiences.

If doctors in your area don't accept your plan, it offers limited value, especially if it only covers in-network care. Some reviewers had trouble finding network doctors in their area.

Dwhoush from Theodore, Alabama "Any questions I have about my insurance are always answers very quickly. Everyone on the phone is nice and all the literature Blue cross gives out is helpful. The biggest concern I have with BCBS is a lot of the providers in my area don’t take it." Tori Miller from Draper, Utah "The price for our familys health insurance was very reasonable. They were always very helpful and easy to work with. It was very hard to find many providers in our area, that were reputable and ones that we wanted to use. The network of providers needs to be increased for us to use this insurance again. But no complaints on price or customer service."

Before enrolling in a health plan, check the provider network online to see how big it is and if your current doctor accepts your plan.

The most hopeful part of these reviews is that they mention positive responses from the company and the comparative ease of resolving issues and concerns.

Methodology

Data based on a random sample of 149 out of 241 BlueCross BlueShield's 4- and 5-star reviews from October 2017 to April 2020 on BlueCross BlueShield's profile. Roughly 37 percent of these reviews were from Utah, 11 percent from Arizona, and 22 percent did not have a location. Reviews from other states were between 0 and 5 percent. The confidence level is 95 percent with a 5 percent margin of error. 

The net promoter score data is based on review data from November 2017 to May 2020.

BlueCross BlueShield has many subsidiaries that operate in specific states and regions. Many of these subsidiaries have their own profile on Best Company, like Anthem and Regence. Subsidiary profiles were not part of this analysis.

BlueCross BlueShield Frequently Asked Questions

How much is BlueCross BlueShield per month?

It is difficult to give a good, blanket estimate on health insurance premiums because several factors affect the cost. Premiums for Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans are based on your age, location, and tobacco use. The kind of plan you choose and the number of people enrolled on the plan with you (e.g., spouse, children) also affect your rate.

If you want to learn more about BlueCross BlueShield's monthly costs, you'll want to work directly with BlueCross BlueShield to compare coverage, out-of-pocket costs, and monthly premiums on different plans.

What does BlueCross BlueSheild cover for dental?

BlueCross BlueShield dental insurance coverage varies by dental plan. Some of BlueCross BlueShield's subsidiaries may not offer dental insurance. You'll need to work with the insurer directly to get more information. Learn more by reading BlueCross BlueShield dental insurance reviews.

What vaccines are covered by BlueCross BlueShield?

You'll need to check specific plans for vaccine coverage information. Many vaccines are considered preventive care, so plans that meet the Affordable Care Act guidelines should cover them. Call a BlueCross BlueShield representative or review your plan's Summary of Benefits and Coverage or the more detailed coverage agreement to understand vaccine coverage specifics.

What does BlueCross BlueShield cover?

Again, you'll need to check your plan documents or talk to a company representative to learn about what your plan covers.

If you're buying an Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan, it will cover the Essential Health Benefits. These include outpatient and emergency care, prescriptions, preventive care, mental health services, and pediatrics.

What type of insurance is BlueCross BlueShield?

BlueCross BlueShield offers several types of insurance. It offers health insurance (including Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Prescription Drug Plans), dental insurance, and vision insurance.

Availability of specific kinds of insurance, plans, and network structures vary by BlueCross BlueShield subsidiary.

How to read a BlueCross BlueShield insurance card?

Your insurance card will have information on the kind of plan you have, its network structure, identifying numbers, and helpful phone numbers. The types of phone numbers may vary by plan and region, but possible phone numbers include customer service, pharmacy, and precertification.

Your card will have all the information you and your providers need to access information on your health plan including the plan holder's name, member identity number, and its effective date. All the information is clearly labeled, but if you have trouble understanding the information on your card, you can reach out to customer service or check out this guide from BlueCross BlueShield Texas.

How do I submit my insurance reimbursement to BlueCross BlueShield?

In most cases, your health care provider or pharmacy will submit a claim on your behalf. However, you may need to file a claim yourself.

Each BlueCross BlueShield subsidiary may have some variation in their processes. However, you'll have to complete a claims form and submit it within the deadlines. For more information on the process, reach out to customer service or do a quick Google search.

How can you manage your Blue Cross coverage online?

You can use your BlueCross BlueShield subsidiary's member portal to file a claim, estimate costs, request a member ID card, view Explanations of Benefits for care received, and check your deductible's balance.

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