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. With Blue Cross Blue Shield, customers can have access to great member resources. Customers can also purchase dental and vision coverage.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield is also a parent company of other health insurance companies that provide Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance in specific regions and states. 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

Star Rating

3.6
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217 Reviews

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Amal Sweis
April 16th, 2019 Little Rock, AR DETAILS
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I am with this company their customer service is excellent and they have offices that can be reached easily and you are welcomed when you get there, and they offer you coffee and water while you wait in a clean relaxing environment.

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Matthew Driggs
April 12th, 2019 Salt Lake City, UT DETAILS
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My company has used Blue Cross as its health insurance provider. They are good to work with but we haven't gone with them lately because of price. overall good experience just a little to expensive compared with our current company (Select Health)

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Desiree
April 9th, 2019 Springfield, VT DETAILS
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This is the worst insurance me and my husband have ever had. With a high deductible of 10,000 and the only coverage that gets 100% without meeting the deductible is preventative. The reason i'm giving such a bad review is i learned that prenatal care is considered preventative. Blue Cross does not consider prenatal care preventive and will not cover one visit until we meet our $10,000 deductible. This does not include our premiums that my husband and i pay each month. There is no point in having this insurance when they cover nothing but a routine physical. i should just save the premium and put in into a health savings account. Blue Cross Blue Shield is the worst insurance company out there.

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Lori Vanderkam
April 4th, 2019 Wayland, MI DETAILS
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I have used Blue Cross for over ten years but will never use them again. In short, the use their ability to restrict coverage via their “investigational” terminology. I thought that our outrageous premiums provided protection but it does not. I hope and pray we go to a single payer system that minimizes this type of fraudulent behavior.

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Steve Wayne Giles
March 26th, 2019 Macomb, MI DETAILS
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Too expensive i have bad asthma and sinus and allegries all my meds went up 2 to 3 time the cost. I cant afford them no more. Dont get it you wont be able get what you need.

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Amanda Jordan
March 21st, 2019 Austin, TX DETAILS
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They made a mistake and billed my old policy, and cancelled my new policy. I've been paying every month and didn't find this out until I was sick with a fever of 103 trying to get in to see a doctor. They made it impossible for me to see a doctor because the billing office was already closed. They couldn't help me that day, but said they would call back the following day to figure it out. Two days later they call me back to tell me that they can't help me with my request, and that I would have to jump through hoops to fix their mistake on my end before I would be able to see a doctor. I had to pay out of pocket for a doctor and my medication because they canceled my insurance even though I had been paying monthly. Also, it tells you that it covers one thing (example:birth control 100% cover) when you are enrolling, but after you sign up, your coverage magically changes.

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Antoine Bell
March 20th, 2019 DETAILS
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Blue Cross Blue Shield overly scrutinize prescription coverage to the point of nickeling and diming it's customers. They are very inconsistent when it comes to what is covered. You can have a prescription that is covered one month and the next month it's not. Moreover, their automated phone handling service for incoming customer calls is confusing and wastes a lot of time for it's customers which results in unhappy and frustrating customer call. For the amount of money we pay, we deserve better prescription coverage and better first impression phone handling.

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Emily
March 7th, 2019 San Diego, CA DETAILS
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BCBS is the worst Health Insurance company I've ever experienced. 2 Knee surgeries in a year and they refused to pay for barely any physical therapy. I paid over 4000 dollars for REQUIRED physical therapy. They are extremely slow to follow up or don't call at all, and repeatedly gave me incorrect information of who I needed to contact to get appeal information.

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WLF
February 22nd, 2019 Mebane, NC DETAILS
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Having ro change most of my Drs. as BCBS dropped Duke/Wake Med,had to argue multiple times to get necessary procedures covered one timw they pay the next they don't.They have lowered premiums but a procedure I had done in 2018 that cost me 1400 i now have to have on my other side one year later at same facility exact procedure on plan they said was comparable to my last year's which they no longer offer by the way is costing me over 2400 how is this comparable.I am so sick of this company NC insurance regulators need to do in depth audit of all this companies files .

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Carl Reidemeister
February 19th, 2019 Old Lyme, CT DETAILS
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I have never seen such a poorly run insurance company. In an effort to research my costs prior to seeing a dr, I was told by the dr that I could call my carrier to find out the cost for various ppt codes that they get paid by BCBS. I spent the better part of an hour on the phone with several reps who ran me thru the ringer and would not give me the info I needed. Not only is the premium amount crazy but the service is horrible. I would never recommend this company.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.