BlueCross BlueShield

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BlueCross BlueShield Logo

BlueCross BlueShield

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BlueCross BlueShield offers a wide variety of health insurance plans nationwide

Blue Cross Blue Shield is a renowned health insurance provider. It's also a parent company of other health insurance companies. Blue Cross Blue Shield companies include Anthem, CareFirst, Regence, Wellmark, Highmark, Capital, Empire, Independence, Horizon, and Premera. It oversees 36 different companies, all of which are locally operated. As a nationwide company in the health insurance marketplace, BCBS has helped about 105 million people with health insurance plans since its founding in 1929.

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The Good

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

Types of Plans Offered

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plans are nationwide and widely accepted at hospitals and doctor's offices. Coverage options range in every type-from PPOs, to HMOs, to HSAs, to even HRAs and FSAs. BCBS also offers indemnity, Point of Service (POS), and short-term health insurance plan. 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 understand the benefits and costs of monthly payments, 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. 

In addition to health care coverage options, the some Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan offerings include dental insurance plans and vision insurance. The BlueDental plans include access to a network of 140,000 dentists around the US. It covers the basics, including preventative care, fillings, crowns, and braces. 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 claims. Even potential members have the ability to get a quote of their coverage options before committing to the company. 

As for advanced resources, members with Blue Cross Blue Shield plans 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. 

The AskBlue tool is also 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, 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. 96% of hospitals and 92% of doctors accept BCBS insurance. At most locations your medical bills will be covered in part by this company! 

Another unique feature of 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. 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, out-of-pocket costs, 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 insurance plan details at Blue Cross Blue Shield. After all, the company is large, provides coverage 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, doctors, and urgent care centers because it is a well-known brand in the health insurance marketplace. 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. 

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User Reviews

3.7

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207 Reviews

Your trust is our top priority, so we check all reviews for accuracy and relevance. Additionally, we do not allow companies to alter or remove reviews. Learn more

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wayne sanders
February 12th, 2019 Valley Center, CA DETAILS
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We had Blue Cross for more than 20 years. the only reason we don't have them now is because my company switched providers. When we were with them there was never any issues regarding claims and everything was always taken care of promptly. I would recommend them to those looking for a good, no hassle health provider for families.

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marlene bennett
February 12th, 2019 Salt Lake City, UT DETAILS
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Blue Cross Blue Shield was the Health Insurance company when I worked in Granite School district. With a reasonable deductible and good premium I was always satisfied with their service

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Nathan Hill
February 12th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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We have been using Blue Cross Blue Shield for about 3 years now and we really haven't liked the high deductible plan we have had or the coverage. We have a large family with a lot of expenses so it's hard to pay so much for our deductible. This insurance company hasn't covered things as well as some of our past providers. Our dealing with customer service has been fine though. It's also hard to have IHC Hospitals out of their network as we have needed to take our children to the hospital near us and not been able to.

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Robyn Peterson
February 12th, 2019 Woods Cross, UT DETAILS
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Bluecross Blueshield has been our insurance provider for years. They have always taken care of me and my family!

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Brandie Rudy
February 12th, 2019 West Jordan, UT DETAILS
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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.

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Helen Thompson
February 12th, 2019 Bountiful, UT DETAILS
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we have been with Blue Cross Blue Shield for many years. during the many years we have been on their programs we have also checked out many other service carriers and always stayed with them. We love the doctors that will take our insurance. My husband is a retired doctor and has referred many of the doctors under this plan because he worked for them many years and felt they were very honest doctors and that the company did care about their clients.It is easy to talk to them in the billing department if there is ever a problem.

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Cristiana
February 12th, 2019 Orem, UT DETAILS
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That's my insurance company. Overall I do not have any complain about it. All the doctors I need I can schedule a consultation easily and I never had issues. Customer service is great, I had to call BlueCross 2 times and I had a good experience.

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JAKE
February 8th, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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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.

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welyton paz
February 7th, 2019 Lynn, MA DETAILS
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No, better alternatives at a fraction of the cost. Cancellation is impossible to make it happen after you get it.

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Mackenzie Taylor
February 6th, 2019 Portland, OR DETAILS
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Decent premiums and over all pretty good coverage. Large PPO network to choose your own provider.

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Denna Collier
February 6th, 2019 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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I enjoy being able to go to multiple locations but it is had to find out which services are a preferred provider

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Lindsey A Brown
February 4th, 2019 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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We used to have BlueCross BlueShield through my husband's past employer and the coverage was excellent. I don't recall ever having any issues during the 5 years we had it. Great company and very reputable.

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Valarie Heaps
February 4th, 2019 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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we had bluecross blueshield several years ago but the rates were too high. we had to switch insurance companies but when we were with them they were easy to work with

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Alex Nee
February 4th, 2019 Centerville, MA DETAILS
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They think certain groups of people cannot get certain diseases. Apparently if you're 30 you cannot get acid reflux. What's next? They tell you that a 5 yo can't get cancer!? There is no medical reason for them to keep taking medications out while charging more.

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janalee sanders
February 1st, 2019 Valley Center, CA DETAILS
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we had healthcare through Blue Cross for more than 20 years. As long as I can remember we never had one issue with a claim or with our claims being paid in a timely manner. Blue Cross was always a good provider for our family.

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Mauri Brewer
February 1st, 2019 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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We felt satisfied with the list of providers we could choose from. We also had great interactions with the customer service agents we talked with.

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JARED J BUCKLEY
January 31st, 2019 Fort Bridger, WY DETAILS
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The customer service in Wyoming is just great. Everytime I give a call the ladies on the line are just so helpful and kind.

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Roger Wilken
January 30th, 2019 DETAILS
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HAVE BEEN VERY FAIR AND CONSISTANT THEY HAVE BEEN VERY TRUTFUL WITHTH ME

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pamelaj
February 7th, 2019 Catoosa, OK DETAILS
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Worst of all they lie. I have been fighting them for 3 wks, my blood pressure med that I've been on for 12 yrs is no longer covered. They state, and this was on the form I received yesterday, that I have to have tried and failed 2 meds to get on the one I'm on. I DID! 12 yrs ago. When I called, they said that same thing, I said, I DID, well, then it turned into my doctor didn't send that info, THEY DID, then it turned into that I didn't try the ones THEY say I have to try, and it's not 2 but 3! I am sick and tired of the insurance companies deciding that they know more than the doctor. They will screw over and over, and when you point out what is in writing from them, THEY LIE! so now I have to start all over again, after 12 yrs. The fact that between myself and my employer pays over $800 a month, is robbery.

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CRUZ LOPEZ
January 30th, 2019 Tucson, AZ DETAILS
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Horrible Company! Very inconsiderate of the members schedule when it comes to customer service hours! I've been paying over $565 every month since Oct 2018 and haven't been able to use my plan 1 time! I was never mail a packet! Never got my Member card! Never get a rep because my work schedule doesn't allow it! I cant register online for whatever reason i get errors and then tells you to call a number that closes at 4:30! But they sure do get their money from every check!!! Its a one sided relationship and they got their money and don't care of anyone's situation. If you can find another health insurance provider, do it.

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s thomas
January 25th, 2019 Wellborn, FL DETAILS
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I've had them for a few years. We pay too much for to little customer service. If you call they will not help you navigate benefits or appeals. The app and website are always down. I'll be looking into other options next year.

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Madalyn Johnson
January 17th, 2019 Provo, UT DETAILS
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BlueCross is amazing! I know i will always be covered and my co-pay is super cheap!!!

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Annie Orr
January 16th, 2019 Provo, UT DETAILS
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BlueCross BlueShield is an awesome private insurance company! They are so helpful!

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Chloe Magleby
January 16th, 2019 Provo, UT

I had blue cross blue shield for most of my life and I honestly think they are one of the worst healthcare providers. They have the worse coverage and the most expensive plans.

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Efren
January 17th, 2019 Cerritos, CA DETAILS
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This Health Insurance sucks! Last December 2018< I had an appointment with a Specialist for a follow up treatment. The day before my appointment, the Doctor called me to verify with my insurance because they claimed that I was inactive and changed on another group plan without my knowledge. When I received the two insurance cards for me and my wife, our family primary physician got changed without our knowledge. Blue Shield assigned us a doctor that we did not know and located quite a distance from us. We never called Blue Shield to change our Primary doctor and our plan, however, they went ahead and changed it without notifying us. I called Blue Shield on the day before my doctor appointment, the representative I talked to went to change back to our Primary doctor and said that I was on the same plan as before and would be receiving the new cards in 10 days. Guess what happened, the doctor had a problem with my insurance and I was inactive. I was very thankful that the specialist doctor treated me for free for that appointment. Additionally, the new cards arrived after 26 days compared to 10 days as I was told. My card was changed to my previous primary physician but not my wife. I called Blue Shield today, 1/15/19 to correct the issue and spoke with someone by the name of Alex and made me wait for so long hoping that he was correcting the issue. No, he was searching for the reason why it was changed. Later, he told me that my wife needed to call them herself. I told them that I am the Primary member, however, he insisted that she had to call them. I requested to speak to his supervisor and the supervisor told me the same way although I explained to them that this was an error on their part, not notifying me and they changed our Primary Physician and plan without our authorization and notification. Additionally, a prescription was given to me by the doctor and was not authorized by this Insurance although it was authorized before. BLUE SHIELD sucks and I will be switching to another health Provider. I SHOULD BE RATING THEM AS ZERO STAR, HOWEVER< THERE IS NO ZERO HERE.

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Kymberlee Yack
December 20th, 2018 Orem, UT DETAILS
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the most reliable health insurance my family has ever had. we've been with blue cross for years and wouldn't change a think. the coverage with them is great!

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Mark A upton
December 13th, 2018 Hazel Crest, IL DETAILS
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Basically, the worst ever. Ghetto insurance, I could actually do better in an alley on the south side of Chicago. I wish I had look at their reviews before I went with them. They are a joke. All their locations should be burned down.

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Darius Williams
December 13th, 2018 Alexandria, VA DETAILS
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didnt have the best customer service when i had them through my job. also had high copays

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Jorden Laird
December 11th, 2018 Front Royal, VA DETAILS
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never had an issue with day to day coverage and covered Mirena 100% only paid a copayment

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Pam
December 11th, 2018 Oklahoma City, OK DETAILS
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I've been paying for their most expensive plan. One trip to the drs office. Some blood tests, cardiogram... And the insurance didn't even cover half the charges. $500 out of pocket. I'm switching immediately.

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Mildred Carter
December 11th, 2018 Woodbridge, VA DETAILS
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I had this as my health insurance for one of my former employers. They covered pretty much everything I needed, but then again I didn't need anything MAJOR. The prices were okay - but I got discounted employee pricing through my job, so I'm not sure what their typical pricing scheme is.

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Jill Nilson
December 10th, 2018 Alpine, UT DETAILS
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We had Blue Cross Blue Shield with my husbands company and they were always great to work with and I never had to question any of my benefits.

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Alex
December 7th, 2018 St Louis, MO DETAILS
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Obscures your plan on their website, bounces you around and hangs up on you if you call, won't notify you if you have outstanding bills. Most health insurance companies are bloated and have a poor record of service, BCBS is no different.

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Katie Kearney
December 6th, 2018 Vienna, VA DETAILS
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I had BlueCross BlueShield for many years and enjoyed their insurance. Their coverage was great. I would definitely recommend them.

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Jack miller
December 5th, 2018 Alpine, UT

I have been under BlueCross BlueShield almost my entire life. Customer service has been pretty easy to work with and I feel satisfied by what I've gotten up to this point.

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Jami Schmieding
December 5th, 2018 Mesa, AZ DETAILS
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This is by far the best insurance I have ever had, never any issues. Co pays and medications were very low cost

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Katie Howard
November 29th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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We had this insurance for a while, and found that it was widely accepted, but had fairly high premiums and not as great coverage as some others we've had. Still, it was reliable and paid for reasonable health care without too many problems.

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Jeffrey Salas
November 26th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ DETAILS
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I have been insured with this company for a long time. They have exceeded my expectations for health insurance. Great experience all around. They don't keep you on hold for 30 minutes like other insurance companies. Well lead company in my opinion.

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Tamara Krause
November 19th, 2018 Jacksonville, FL DETAILS
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We have federal BCBS and it is the best. The customer service reps are always so helpful and knowledgeable. I call them all the time for referrals and they are great at explaining my medical bills. It's so easy to get pre-approval for procedures, when needed. Would never use anyone else.

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oallred
November 16th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ DETAILS
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My family has used BlueCross BlueShiled for many years and have always had great medical insurance. Their customer service is extremely helpful and always available.

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Rachel413
November 14th, 2018 Laurel, MD DETAILS
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Keep spamming my phone with unknown numbers, DON'T GIVE THEM ANY INFO....they will spam you non stop! I don't even know how they got my phone number. They call from regular out of state numbers too! BEWARE!

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Cody Enslow
November 1st, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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Copays have been very low and I’ve never had an issue staying in network. Definitely a good health insurance option!

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Randal hyde
November 1st, 2018 Springfield, MO DETAILS
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I have been fairly impressed with the service from BlueCross BlueShield. The price is competitive and there are a lot of providers within network.

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Michael
October 29th, 2018 Calabasas, CA DETAILS
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My work insurance runs through Blue Cross. Have an HMO plan. I can’t complain too much as my premiums are fully covered through my work but the doctor selection and level of care could be better. Long wait times for referrals on occasion and finding specialty doctors is sometimes limited with selection. Overall fairly happy though with Blue Cross

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Lisa Hanson
October 29th, 2018 Calabasas, CA DETAILS
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Limited physicians available. Ocassional lengthy wait for referrals. Offices of some physicians are not very neat or comfortable. Prescription coverage and services are good.

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Steven Davis
October 26th, 2018 Maineville, OH DETAILS
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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.

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Tammy Brady
October 24th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ DETAILS
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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.

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Jennifer Castillo
October 24th, 2018 Mesa, AZ DETAILS
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I have used BlueCross BlueShield my entire adulthood. My rating is based on the Federal Plan, not BC/BS of AZ. If I were not on the Federal plan, I would not give a high review. EVERYBODY diserves to be able to afford this quality of coverage.

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Deborah Hyde
October 22nd, 2018 Springfield, MO DETAILS
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Our family has been with blue cross blue shield for years and they have been good and prompt paying their portion of our medical bills.

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Karen Anderson
October 17th, 2018 Lindon, UT DETAILS
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I had to call with a question about a prior authorization for a procedure I'm having. I was on hold for over 20 minutes just to have the associate transfer me to someone else. They then tried to transfer again. The call dropped when the second associate tried to transfer me again. I was very frustrated with the service.

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