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Independence

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As one of BlueCross BlueShield's subsidiaries, Independence offers health plans for groups, individuals, and families in southern Pennsylvania. It also offers Medicare plans for Medicare beneficiaries.

Independence BlueCross BlueShield health insurance plans include competitive features like wellness support, telemedicine, and access to deals that promote healthy living.

The health insurance company also offers several programs that are not common for the industry, including a College Tuition Benefit® program and the ability to access provider networks outside of Pennsylvania.

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The Good

  • Online Health Plan Shopping
  • Competitive Plan Features
  • College Tuition Benefit® 
  • Nice Discount Programs
  • Flexibility for Coverage While Traveling
  • Health Plans for Small and Large Businesses

Online Health Plan Shopping

It's easy to view health plans online through Independence BlueCross BlueShield's site. You can select an option to start looking at quotes or an option that offers more assistance finding a good fit.

Most insurers offer site visitors the ability to view plans online. However, Independence's two pathways to finding a health plan offers additional assistance to visitors who want it.

Medicare beneficiaries can also view Medicare coverage options online through Independence's website.

Competitive Plan Features

Independence BlueCross BlueShield's plans have competitive features, including a large provider network and access to telemedicine.

Plan members can also benefit from nutrition counseling, health coaches, and participation in a well-being program that offers reminders to stay on-track for your goals.

Many of these features are common for the industry, so their inclusion makes Independence's plans competitive.

College Tuition Benefit® 

One feature that makes Independence BlueCross BlueShield different from competitors is its College Tuition Benefit®. Through this benefit you can earn Tuition Rewards that can be redeemed for discounts from participating colleges.

Each Tuition Rewards point is equivalent to a $1 minimum discount on full tuition for a four-year program. You earn these rewards each year when you renew your health plan, with a bonus for the fourth year.

This benefit can be used for children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, step-children, and godchildren.

Work with Independence to learn more details about accessing this benefit.

The College Tuition Benefit® makes an Independence health plan attractive if you will soon have a college student in your family.

Nice Discount Programs

As is common for the industry, Independence BlueCross BlueShield offers several programs that members can use to access deals and discounts.

Programs include the following:

  • GlobalFit® — gym memberships and exercise equipment
  • Blue365® — fitness gear, gym memberships, weight-loss programs, and travel
  • Blue InsiderSM — amusement parks, hotels, shopping, tickets for movies, Broadway, sporting events, museums, etc.
  • IBX Good LIving — healthy food and personal care products

Keep in mind that some programs may not be available with every Independence BlueCross BlueShield health plan.

Flexibility for Coverage While Traveling

With a health plan through Independence, you may be able to find coverage flexibility while traveling. 

For example, participating in BlueCross BlueShield Global Core, you can have health care coverage and access to provider networks in many parts of the world. This coverage flexibility is valuable for frequent travelers.

Even if you stay closer to home with your travels, you may be able to find similar flexibility while staying in the United States. Independence offers guest membership to a similar plan if you or someone on your Independence plan is going to be out of the service area for an extended period of time. 

This ability to apply for guest membership is helpful for families with a university student or people who have to temporarily relocate for work. These programs can help you and your family maintain insurance coverage and keep medical expenses low.

Contact Independence for more information on these programs.

Health Plans for Small and Large Businesses

Small and large businesses can also find health plans and other benefits (e.g. dental insurance) to include in their benefits package. Employers benefit from account management tools and workplace wellness programs.

More information about these offerings can be found by working with Independence directly.

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The Bad

  • Insufficient Customer Insight
  • Limited Availability

Insufficient Customer Insight

Best Company has not received many Independence reviews, so generalizations on the customer experience are not available.

However, BlueCross BlueShield is a top-ranked health insurer on BestCompany.com and has received mostly positive ratings from reviewers.

Although some things can vary across subsidiaries (e.g. provider networks, plans offered), it's reasonable to anticipate a positive experience with Independence based on BlueCross BlueShield customer reviews.

Limited Availability

Independence health plans are only available in parts of Pennsylvania. If you do not live in Philadelphia or southern Pennsylvania, you'll need to find another health insurance company.

Fortunately, BlueCross BlueShield has many subsidiaries. You can still benefit from BlueCross BlueShield insurance through another of its branches.

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The Bottom Line

Independence BlueCross BlueShield is a competitive option if you live in its Pennsylvania service area. If you don't, you may be able to find similar options through a BlueCross BlueShield subsidiary that serves your area.

Through Independence, you can benefit from online health insurance shopping, access to telemedicine, large provider networks, and many discount and deal opportunities. These features make the insurer competitive.

Independence's College Tuition Benefit®, guest membership, and BlueCross BlueShield Global Core programs set the insurer apart from the competition. The ability to extend your coverage to other areas and provider networks makes it easy for people who travel frequently or have short-term job postings to have needed coverage wherever they are.

The College Tuition Benefit® helps families save money on tuition costs when they enroll in the program and renew their plan, which isn't a commonly offered program.

While additional customer insight would be nice, the insurer offers competitive plan features and distinct programs that make an Independence health insurance plan worth exploring further.

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Ashlyn Cann Alpine, UT

Best Insurance Ever. Our plan was amazing and it cost us barely anything to have a baby and the customer service was like none I have ever seen.

1 year ago

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