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Premera

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Founded in 1945, Premera Blue Cross is the subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield that offers services in Washington and Alaska.

It offers a good variety of health plans with access to a 24/7 nurse hotline and telemedicine. You can also manage your plan conveniently through an online account.

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The Good

  • Plan Variety
  • Helpful Online Account
  • Member Resources and Perks
  • Customer Service

Plan Variety

Health plans are divided into three metal tiers:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold

Bronze plans typically have lower premiums with higher out-of-pocket expenses. Gold plans usually have higher premiums but lower out-of-pocket expenses. Silver plans are in the middle.

All plans listed on the Health Insurance Marketplace offer the benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, which includes coverage for preventative and emergency care, prescriptions, maternity and pediatric care, outpatient, and hospital care, and behavioral and rehabilitative treatments.

Premera also offers employer-sponsored group plans for large and small businesses. It also offers Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap plans, but the company doesn't say much about providing Medicaid.

Helpful Online Account

Premera makes it easy for members to manage their accounts and understand the basics of their health plans. Through your account, you can pay your bill online (or via phone or mail), view your ID card, see how much of your deductible you've met so far, view the benefits of your health plan along with an explanation of how they work, and check the status of a claim. You can easily renew your claim, find and download forms, and go paperless so that all your account activity is online.

Member Resources and Perks

One of the best things about being a Premera member is all the discounts you're entitled to on health products, like food serivices, eye glasses, laser vision correction, gym memberships, and more.

Several features make Premera stand out among competing health insurance providers. One of these is their mobile app, which helps you find a provider, view your account activity and benefits, and show proof of coverage while you're out.

The 24/7 nurse and Teledoc access are convenient! Premera focuses all its efforts on Washington and Alaska, which also makes it unique.

Only with Premera will you get the BlueCross BlueShield benefits with customized service for the Pacific Northwest region.

Along with all the member discounts on health products, Premera has Silver&Fit, another discount program that involves getting a gym membership for free for those with Medicare.

Customer Service

At the core, Premera values customers as people and has the company mission to anticipate customers' needs and respond to them. It values integrity and teamwork and wants your health care experience to be a positive one. Premera wants you to feel secure, not confused, which can so easily happen in this industry.

Customers can contact Premera via phone, mail, email, social media, and, of course, in-person visits. Customer service here is not available 24/7, only during business hours.

However, the service you do get is quality, if not quantity. Members can track claims 24/7 as well, and the mobile app and online account make account management so much more convenient and fast. Because of them, you can prove your coverage at the doctor's office or hospital, and you can check the status of a claim or deductible at your own convenience.

Because Premera is a BlueCross BlueShield subsidiary focused on these two states, the company has a bit more of a local feel, which is often helpful for customer service as well. It can provide information specific to your state.

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The Bad

  • Limited Customer Insight
  • Customer Service
  • Limited Region

Limited Customer Insight

Premera has minimal customer reviews on Best Company, which makes it difficult to draw conclusions about the customer experience. Although most of Premera's reviews are negative, a clear picture of how customers feel about Premera is not possible due to the limited number of reviews.

Customer Service

One thing Premera doesn't really have is a phone number dedicated to member services. If you call customer service, it will just prompt you to get to member services from there. There isn't 24/7 customer service either, although members do have access to a 24/7 nurse line.

Teledoc gives members round-the-clock access to a physician via phone or even video! An innovative feature, Teledoc allows you to ask quick questions to a doctor without going through an official appointment (although official appointments are still recommended for certain conditions).

Limited Region

This can be seen as a pro or a con, but Premera only has health plans in two states: Washington, and Alaska. For residents in these states, this is a pro because it gives the company expertise in that area and a somewhat local feel for an insurance company. It's a con for everyone else, though, and it also means their network is much smaller than nationwide companies. Premera's network is made of about 27,000 providers.

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The Bottom Line

If you live in Washington or Alaska, Premera Blue Cross is an excellent and recommended company to partner with for your health insurance. The company has a great history and a parentage with the credible BlueCross BlueShield. What's more, their plan selection and member resources deliver on their goals to anticipate customer needs and make health care more understandable.

For anyone living outside of Premera's boundaries, the company is not a great option, and their lack of 24/7 customer service is one warning sign to be aware of. But as long as your location matches up, the rest of the flaws here are not typical deal breakers.

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1-(844) 202-9012

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5 Reviews

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charlene dykes Lake Stevens, WA

I tried to contact a customer service rep to ask a question and after dealing with several prompts for 50 minutes was finally connected to a rep. who then informed me that I needed to call another number. The rep gave me the SAME number that I had called and it rang for 8 minutes. The rep then told me she would contact someone in this abyss and call me back with the correct person to assist me. I waited another 1 hour and 10 minutes for that callback. The rep finally took my question then abruptly passed the call on to yet another individual. CUSTOMER SERVICE - that's a joke.... Finally I asked my question, which was: Why have my premiums gone up 43.6% with no explanation on my statement? I was told, in an extremely RUDE manner that healthcare increases are the reason, and that it was NOT the insurance company, but my benefits center that raised them. This makes no sense if it is because of the increase high cost of healthcare....... This company put me on hold for 2 hours, gave me a 2 minute response, was very rude, and then cut me off. I would definitely send the reps to a class on professionalism........ I wish insurance companies were as helpful and courteous when dealing with policy holders instead of just when they are in the SALES mode........

3 years ago

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Glenda L Edee Tacoma, WA

I called 1-800-722-1471 on 11/28/2016 at aprox 1:00 PM, after being on hold for about 30 minutes, a customer rep got on the line and asked for my ID, after I gave it to him, he said he would put me through to someone who could help me, I was then left on hold for 3.5 HOURS!!!! All I want to do is pay my premium! When i call and use the option to pay, I get a message that my "Status is such that new payments can not be scheduled. This call will now end" What the [email protected]! my account is current, I am trying to pay NEXT MONTHS premium, and my current plan is through 12/31/2016. The system is definatly S N A F U

4 years ago

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Steven Spedden Lewiston, ID

Covered prescription for 2times then cancelled saying it needed prior approval. Dr sent in info and they denied anyway. Dr sent in different one that was denied also. Going on for 3 weeks now. Go through someone else

7 months ago

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Altan Urbaeva Eagle, ID

They denied the auth for my migraine shots saying that there is no “evidence that it works,” when in all reality my migraines went from every single day to 1-2 days a month. How is there no evidence? My neurologist even has the charts. If it’s anything that is going to cost them, they will deny you, but will gladly take your monthly payments. I would not recommend Premera to anyone.

1 year ago

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Cass Cass Pompano Beach, FL

I was denied a bone marrow transplant last minute after the hospital had received Pre-approval codes for all Pre-Transplant testing for myself and my donor. Premera denied the appeal after 3 doctors advised transplant is needed. Premera only cares about money, not trying to save lives.

2 years ago

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