Health care costs are high. Health insurance can help you manage these costs, so finding a good, affordable health plan matters. Regence offers Medicare and private insurance plans. It also offers dental and vision insurance.
Regence is owned by BlueCross BlueShield but is available only to customers in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Utah. The company was founded in 1942 and was actually the first insurance company for Utah. Regence provides a variety of health care plans and member rewards.
Unlike some health insurance carriers who provide practically every type of plan out there, Regence is a smaller insurer. It's one of the many subsidiaries of BlueCross BlueShield and has a smaller network (only four states large).
The types of plans offered include PPOs and HMOs. Each plan-type has different rules regarding its provider network and cost sharing. PPO plans offer some cost-sharing for out-of-network providers, while HMO plans only cover care received from in-network providers.
Some plans are compatible with Health Savings Accounts. These plans are usually High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). Contributions made to a Health Savings Account (HSA) are tax-free and rollover year to year. As long as the funds are used for medical expenses, HSA funds remain tax-free.
Regence's Medicare offerings include Medicare Advantage plans, prescription drug coverage, and Medicare supplement (Medigap) plans.
However, Regence BlueCross BlueShield does not provide Medicaid or short-term health insurance plans. Regence directs customers seeking Medicaid services to its sister company called LifeMap.
Regence also does not offer its own vision or dental insurance. Again, Regence directs customers to LifeMap for dental plans. However, Regence does offer vision plans through four main vision insurance companies:
As evidenced by the types of plans Regence offers, this is a smaller company with a smaller network than some health insurers. However, it still offers most of the common types of insurance plans that people need.
Regence functions under BlueCross BlueShield and work in tandem with their sister company, LifeMap, and these vision insurers to provide members with the insurance they need.
With any insurance plan, the costs will vary based on the the coverage offered, number of people on the plan, etc. Be sure to review the premiums, copay amounts, annual deductible, and out-of-pocket limit before you complete enrollment.
The "Shop Plans" link on the company's website leads you to more detailed information about the plans that Regence offers. After giving out your zip code, you can find out what insurance coverage is offered in your area and compare monthly premiums so that you can find affordable care and an affordable coverage plan.
As a potential customer of Regence, you can shop for health plans on the company website and use a live chat feature or, of course, phone and email, to ask more detailed questions about each plan.
You can also use the company's Find a Doctor tool to see whether the doctor you currently see is in Regence's network.
After becoming a Regence member, you have access to many more resources. You can still find providers in the network and view patient reviews of providers. There's also a cost estimator, an explanation of the benefits on your plan, and downloadable forms for when you file a claim.
There's a member dedicated phone number, too. The member dashboard is what Regence calls the online patient portal. Through this, you can check the status of a claim you filed, check your deductible status and see more information about your benefits.
In addition, one of the features that makes Regence a 24/7 company is called Advice24, a live chat tool that connects you to an online nurse for any medical questions you might have, even outside of regular business hours.
Members are also rewarded for trying to get or stay healthy. If you take a health assessment offered by Regence and then track your activity to see if you're becoming healthier, Regence will reward you. Perks like these make Regence a member-friendly insurance company and keep you up-to-date on your account and your health.
Discount programs are in no short supply at Regence. This company can help set you up with a program for more typical health and wellness pursuits, like those for weight loss, hearing, vision, dental, or fitness. Regence also has connections for programs with infertility, pet care, funerals, allergies, and pediatrics. If one of these stands out to you, you can get involved with the program and hopefully pay less for the medical expenses that you already have in these areas.
Regence is a promoter of member health and provides these incentives to show you that. There are also benefits like health coaches, the 24/7 online nurse, and support for members who have chronic health problems.
Wellero is a convenient feature too. It's the name for Regence's mobile app and allows members to make payments even right after a doctor's visit. This might be an advantage if it prevents you from forgetting to make payments, and it keeps you connected to the status of your account.
Regence emphasizes the use of proper ethics, which translates into the way it does business and the way it treats its customers. Whether you're a member or not, Regence provides several lines of communication to get answers to your questions. As you would expect, you can email the company, call using one of the several phone numbers provided, and even mail in feedback or any forms you want to submit that way.
There is also a live chat option. Under the "Shop Plans" link on the company's homepage, you will find a link to the live chat tool, which you can use during regular business hours. This is really helpful for getting both basic and detailed information about the company's plans.
For members, there's also a dedicated phone number you can call with questions about your benefits or account. You can also use the 24/7 online nurse for questions that might come up at less convenient hours. Also to the company's credit, it provides several resources that explain what health insurance is, how a deductible works, the difference between the emergency room and urgent care, and more. These are terms we throw around a lot but may not fully understand.
Once you're paying for medical bills, however, it's crucial to know the difference. Providing educational resources like these are another way that Regence shows its customers that it prizes ethics, transparency, and the security of its customers. The company would do well to make their live chat feature a little more visible from the company home page.
Furthermore, it might help customers to know which plans they do and don't provide. You have to go looking to find this information out, and since Regence doesn't provide every type of health plan, you might waste time looking for this and then find out that Regence can't even provide what you need. This would enhance the customer service they provide. But on the whole, their customer service tools are helpful.
Compared to other health insurers, Regence has a small number of reviews on Best Company. Reviewers have mixed experiences with Regence, which also makes it difficult to give a clear recommendation based on the customer experience.
However, Regence is a subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield, a highly-rated and well-known health insurer.
It's important to know right away that if you don't live in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, or Utah, then Regence isn't an option. You will have to find another insurer.
Regence's health plans cover only those areas, even though the parent company, BlueCross BlueShield, is much more widespread. That significantly limits the number of customers Regence can serve.
Regence is upfront about the Medicare options it offers and it's easy to tell that its plans include PPOs, HMOs, and HSAs. However, it's hard to find the details about the plans offered without first providing your location and some basic personal information, like your date of birth. It's not unrealistic that your personal situation would determine your health plan options, but it would be nice if this information was a bit more accessible without disclosing your information.
Regence has a sister company called LifeMap, and this company takes care of Medicaid plans or dental plans. As for Regence itself, however, they do not offer standalone dental plans, Medicaid, or even short-term health insurance.
james coe Corvallis, OR
5 years ago