BlueCross BlueShield

6.1

Overall Score

9 User Reviews

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Blue Cross Blue Shield is the renowned parent company of health insurance names like Anthem, CareFirst, Regence, Wellmark, Highmark, Capital, Empire, Independence, Horizon, and Premera. It oversees 36 different companies, all of which are locally operated, however. A nationwide company, BCBS has helped about 105 million people since its founding in 1929. 

The Good

  • Types of Plans Offered
  • Member Resources
  • Unique Features
  • Customer Service
  • Availability and Acceptance
  • Mobile App

Types of Plans Offered

The health plans offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield are nationwide and widely accepted at hospitals and doctor's offices. They range in every type-from PPOs, to HMOs, to HSAs, to even HRAs and FSAs. BCBS also offers indemnity plans, Points of Service (POS), and short-term health insurance. And of course, they have Medicare and Medicaid options as well. The coverage and details of each of these plans depends partially on your health situation (including age, number of group being insured, health status, etc.) and your location. When you initially search for a health plan to get a quote, expect to put in your location and some personal information, as these points will help BCBS draw up a list of potential plans for you.

To their credit, the company also offers both dental and vision insurance for plans that allow it. The BlueDental plans include access to a network of 140,000 dentists around the US. It covers the basics, like preventative cleanings, fillings, and even crowns or braces if needed. There is no deductible for a dental checkup with this plan and no deductible for preventative care. The percentage of coverage, however, depends on your specific plan and the state you live in. For vision insurance, the BlueVision plans are accepted at 3,000 retail locations around the US and function through VSP. Vision insurance here has the potential to save you 20 to 40% on your optometry bills.

Member Resources

Blue Cross Blue Shield keeps up its positive reputation with members with both basic and advanced tools. On the basic level, BCBS has a member portal with the capability of tracking your claims 24/7. There's of course a member-dedicated phone number you can call as well, and members can contact the company at any time of day if needed. Through the BCBS website, members can download any forms they need, such as for filing a claim. Even potential members have the ability to get a quote about a health plan before committing to the company.

As for advanced resources, members have a lot to enjoy as well. BCBS goes above and beyond with their mobile app, to start out. While many health insurance companies have a mobile app just to access your patient portal, BCBS has one to help you find a doctor-both in terms of making sure a provider is in the BCBS network and in the sense that the app's GPS will give you directions to that facility. In addition, the AskBlue tool is worth mentioning. It's BCBS's tool for giving you detailed information about their health plans. Should you want more than basic information, you can just "Ask Blue" and get the prices, coverage points, deductibles, premiums, and more. This is a great tool to compare plans and find the best one for you. Finally, BCBS cares about the education of its members and shows this by providing articles about health care-including the confusing terms in health insurance, the changing laws about this industry, and more. This makes you feel more informed about health and your insurance.

Unique Features

Blue Cross Blue Shield's network of doctors and specialists is gigantic. BCBS insurance is accepted all over the US-not one state is left out. Perhaps more significant, though, is the fact that 96% of hospitals and 92% of doctors accept BCBS insurance. At most locations your medical bills will be covered in part by this company! Here's another unique feature of this company: the Blue365 program. Through Blue365, members can receive discounts on all sorts of health-related products, such as workout clothes, weight loss programs, hearing aids, and pedometers (to name just a few). Blue365 saves you money and provides added motivation for you to get and stay healthy. BCBS also has tools like their mobile app and the AskBlue resource for finding out more about their health plans. BCBS is also noted for being very involved in health-related causes in the community. Through associations with the American Diabetes Foundation, the YMCA, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation (again, just to name a few), BCBS has made a big difference in encouraging health and making healthier lives a reality.

Customer Service

The Blue Cross Blue Shield website is extremely detailed and full of resources for members and potential customers alike. For anyone who would benefit from it, they have general information about health care, health insurance, terminology, legal changes, and how all these factors affect people who need health insurance. More specifically, though, through the website you can find answers to questions about actual health plans offered by BCBS. You can search for plans and get a quote, narrowing your search by location and the type of plan you're looking for.

They answer frequently asked questions, have social media outlets to connect with clients more personally, and of course, provide mailing information for when you need to mail in a form or contact them via snail mail. Should all of these resources not be enough, though, BCBS provides phone numbers, an email address, live chatting, and even a 24/7 secure inquiry form that you can submit to the company for personalized answers. In short, Blue Cross Blue Shield takes lots of different steps to meet the needs of customers all over the US. They are available 24/7 to members and have set up their customer service tools to be convenient, immediate, and of course, helpful-even in the details.

Availability and Acceptance

BCBS is available in all 50 states, and over 90% of doctors and hospitals in America accept their insurance. BCBS insurance is accepted at 96% of hospitals and at 92% of doctor's offices. It goes without saying that this convenience alone trumps the hassles of lesser-known insurance plans.

Mobile App

The BCBS mobile app is slightly different from other companies' apps. Their Find a Doctor app not only helps you identify a doctor or hospital you can use your insurance at; it literally helps you find the location with its GPS ability.

The Bad

  • State-Specific Coverage

State-Specific Coverage

For better or worse, the coverage you receive through your health plan depends partially on the state you live in (the state in which you would use that insurance). In other words, you can't just look up a PPO plan at BCBS and expect the same coverage percentages and deductibles for any state. Prices are determined in part by location, which could work for or against you.

The Bottom Line

In many ways, it's not surprising that there are inconsistencies in health plan details at Blue Cross Blue Shield. After all, the company is so large, being nationwide, and has such an extensive history and reputation. Its growth has brought both positive and negative consequences. For example, it's positive that BCBS is accepted at such a high percentages of hospitals and doctor's offices because it is a well-known brand. But on the other hand, the office you work with locally could be one of those with a poor reputation since BCBS doesn't micromanage each subsidiary.

Long story short, BCBS is still a recommended health insurance option. They have some inconsistencies, but their benefits far outweigh these weaknesses.

 

User Reviews

3.3

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  • 10

    Megan Rigby

    December 12th, 2017 DETAILS

    Value for your money
    Quality of product or service
    Customer Service
    Company trustworthiness

    Through my husband work, we are able to have health insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield has ben good to us. Never having to pay more than copayments.

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  • 8

    Emerald Scott

    December 5th, 2017 West Jordan, UT DETAILS

    Value for your money
    Quality of product or service
    Customer Service
    Company trustworthiness

    I really enjoyed having BlueCross BlueShield insurance, the one downside is that I had to pay more to get the hospital I typically use in network. Other than that they were great and paid for most of the visits I had. They paid for my prescriptions almost every time as well. Their customer service when I had to call was simple and easy to get through and the people I talked to were really nice.

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  • 4

    Cassidy Gundersen

    December 4th, 2017 Orem, UT DETAILS

    Value for your money
    Quality of product or service
    Customer Service
    Company trustworthiness

    I have been with Blue Cross for over 10 years. And I have found that they are average in every way. Their customer service is mediocre. I called to get help finding a breast pump that was covered under insurance, and they were unable to help me and told me to just buy one and then maybe it would be covered. I spent many hours on the phone trying to get an answer before a supervisor finally gave me that response. There are many locations that are out of network for them and it makes it difficult to find a provider. I often get reminders from companies that they have not paid out their portion of the bill and in some cases it has been after months of follow-ups that they payout or send reimbursements.

    Helpful?
  • 8

    Hayley Lambdin

    November 13th, 2017 Orem, UT

    I used BlueCross when I was on my moms insurance. It was pretty amazing when I needed to get birth control. It covered the expenses 100 percent.

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  • 10

    Linda Hill

    November 10th, 2017 DETAILS

    Value for your money
    Quality of product or service
    Customer Service
    Company trustworthiness

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

    Helpful?
  • 8

    Brindy

    November 9th, 2017 DETAILS

    Value for your money
    Quality of product or service
    Customer Service
    Company trustworthiness

    I have always had a wonderful experience with BCBS Fed, they have always had great customer service, great coverage, and great benefits. However, I gave them only a four rating because of how expensive they are. Unfortunately I will be switching insurance companies because of the spike in price every year.

    Helpful?
  • 2

    Misty Ward

    November 1st, 2017 Buffalo Valley, TN DETAILS

    Value for your money
    Quality of product or service
    Customer Service
    Company trustworthiness

    They are crooked and only care about their money. Even when a doctor repeatedly provides the medical necessity of a surgery for someone to regain any quality of life they deny coverage. Claiming not medically necessary. Why do I paid the high cost for coverage when it’s useless to me! When I need them to help me so I can walk and work they continue to deny coverage. This surgery is something I NEED to be able to walk and to hopefully be able to return to some sort of job to have a life again. No matter how many times they speak with my neurosurgeon through appeals or see all the tests that say this is my only option they say NO. Completely worthless. Worst insurance I’ve ever had and to expensive to not cover anything.

    Helpful?
  • 8

    Mitchell S

    October 16th, 2017 Deerfield Beach, FL

    I am on MyBlue. It is very difficult to find a Primary Provider, but I did a lot of research and he is working out well. It all depends on your main doctor whether this is a good choice for you.

    Helpful?
  • 1

    Madysen Clingan

    September 28th, 2017

    Refuse to cover necessary medical tests for my pregnancy unless I deliver at the hospital THEY want me to deliver at. I'm currently paying over 1000 dollars in bills and it keeps piling up because they refuse to pay on anything. They won't even cover the blood work I had to get at my first appointment. Also if my baby is a boy they refuse to help cover the cost of a circumcision. Absolutely ridiculous. They want me to deliver at a hospital over an HOUR away from where I live. Will be switching insurances.

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