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BlueCross BlueShield

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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.

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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181 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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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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Kendyq
October 12th, 2018 Cambridge, MA DETAILS
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Not sure if it is the fault of the hospital or of blue cross, but we have gotten duplicate bills after a treatment from two separate hospitals in different parts of the state (we were only at one).

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Zak
October 9th, 2018 Brooklyn, NY

Spam!! calling me every day from different numbers. ugly company, would never trust

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Mike Y
October 4th, 2018 Atlanta, GA DETAILS
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This was the worse choice my company ever made to join this bobo insurance company Ease of doing busy with them is awful at best. They cover minimal, and you and your doctor are put through hoops to get anything approved If you can, find another plan. Better yet, push your company to find another healthcare provider

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Deborah
October 3rd, 2018 Denver, CO DETAILS
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Blue Cross Blue Shield is the worst company to deal with on the phone or getting any benefit information. Hopefully you never have to speak to a human at the company, not possible. I waited on hold 30 minutes only to be hung up on by there system.

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Bethany
September 27th, 2018 Springfield, VA DETAILS
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STOP CALLING With your sales pitches! This is against the law!!!

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Tori Miller
September 25th, 2018 Draper, UT

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.

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Larry Elliott
September 20th, 2018 Aberdeen, ID

Blue Cross has been very helpful especially when there has been a problem with an account. I would recommend Blue Cross to anyone looking for a health plan. I do not like when they have canceled a plan for the following year, then I have to find a new plan.

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Sofie Rosenvall
September 20th, 2018 Alpine, UT

We no longer have BlueCross and BlueShield but while we did I LOVED what they covered... After having 3 of my babies and having BlueCross BlueShield be our primary insurance we had awesome coverage and when I got the bill it wasn't even half what I thought it would be... Always great customer service treating me with respect. Can not say enough good things about BlueCross BlueShield

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kristie
September 18th, 2018 Pittsfield, MA DETAILS
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Too expensive and does not cover anything. My husband and I pay so much money each month, just have to almost nothing covered.

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Mark Evers
September 18th, 2018 Lehi, UT DETAILS
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Very good insurance in network.., but if you need to use it out of network. Please be careful! They have good rates and have a great selection of doctors available!

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Melanie E
September 17th, 2018 Draper, UT

Blue Cross Blue Shield customer service needs service. They are difficult to work with and more eager to deny a claim than to fulfill their contracted obligation.

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Kimberly Maddock
September 17th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

I recently had my first baby and we had BCBS as our insurance. The insurance was so comprehensive that I only ended up paying $250 for all my appointments and having a csection delivery. Their customer support was so helpful and their coverage was amazing.

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Benjamin Taliulu
September 13th, 2018 Salt Lake City, UT

They’ve always been helpful in getting any issues I had with medical billing straightened out

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Tevita
September 11th, 2018 Salt Lake City, UT

Had BCBS for one year because our insurance at work changed. Did not like it at all. Too many problems with coverage and even had to deal with unpaid things even after we switched insurances the next year. Too much of a hassle.

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Mashawn Mickels
September 4th, 2018 Columbus, GA DETAILS
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While our company doesn't provide the best of information, you really have to research your benefits. Still, some how I missed these benefits. I was excited the nurse called and explained what I could have used and what I can still use as part of our benefits. The nurse has called twice since that initial day to check on me and sent some additional information.

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Joy Henry
August 31st, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

BlueCross BlueShield was my moms health insurance company and i don't know what we would have done without them. They covered her medical bills and allowed for her to always receive the treatment she needed. She passed away about a month ago and we were very grateful for her health insurance. Thank You!

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