Blue Cross Blue Shield Review – 2019

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers an impressive range of plans, and it’s likely small businesses will be able to find at least one that meets their needs. Their network is extensive, meaning a great amount of choice is possible – especially with the PPO plans.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Overview

At the time of writing, Blue Cross Blue Shield is responsible for the healthcare coverage of 99 million Americans and operates in over 170 countries. They’re also not one company, but 37.

In terms of price, Blue Cross Blue Shield tested at around the average when their various plans were compared to our other top small business healthcare companies.

However, the size and complexity of the organization can be confusing. At the same time, variations in local providers can mean real differences in the nature and quality of care available in different geographic areas. However, small businesses can still benefit from Blue Cross Blue Shield customized network solutions to come up with a plan that works for them.

Blue Cross Blue Shield features

Like UnitedHealthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield has some features which vary according to your plan and others which you can access regardless of your health plan. 

  • First, small businesses can decide the particular parts of the Blue Cross Blue Shield network they want to have access to. If you want wide access and are willing to pay for it, that’s an option.
  • Alternatively, if you believe that your employees have more specific needs you might choose a narrower network. Regardless, Blue Cross Blue Shield’s attractive website makes it fairly clear what your options are.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield users also have access to Blue365, a wellbeing feature that provides discounts to an impressive range of health and wellbeing services. You can find a list of participating ‘Blue’ companies on Blue365’s website.

Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for small businesses

With such a large organization, it’s inevitable that there are too many available plans from the various companies in the group to provide a comprehensive analysis of each in this review. However, there are some popular plans that will appeal to some small businesses:

BlueCard PPO

  • PPOs tend to offer a lot of choices about which doctor you see and come with extensive networks. Because of the amount of freedom they provide, they’re also usually the most expensive health plans on offer to small businesses or individuals.
  • The BlueCard PPO is no exception to this rule, but the network it provides access to is remarkably large. With this plan, you’ll have in-network access to 96% of US hospitals and 95% of US physicians.

Blue Select Networks

  • This plan offers small business employees access to locally targeted networks that result in gradual cost savings when compared to broader PPO plans in their local area.
  • Since most of your health insurance needs will likely be addressed by a small group of providers, a plan like this can be a sensible economy.

Blue Distinction Specialty Care

  • If you believe your employees are likely to need specialty care, this plan is one to consider. The Blue Distinction Specialty Care employee health plan will give them access to centers of excellence across all top 100 MSAs, targeting nine high-cost specialty care areas.

Blue Distinction Total Care

  • Designed to provide value-based care, this option offers small business employees a health plan that uses coordinated care to manage costs lower. This is particularly good for those with chronic conditions.

Blue Distinction Flexible Network

  • This health insurance plan for small businesses aims for flexibility in terms of costs and treatments. With a tiered structure, the Blue Distinction Flexible Network helps employees reach a happy medium of savings, quality, and access to high-quality providers.

Alternatives to Blue Cross Blue Shield

While Blue Cross Blue Shield offers small businesses a wide selection of health plans, the numerous companies and the differences between them can add a certain amount of confusion for employees when it comes to getting local care.

  • If you’re looking for a health insurance company that may offer more consistency, Kaiser Permanente may be an attractive option. They run their own facilities, so have direct control over health care provision. However, at the time of writing, they’re only active in 8 states.
  • For a similarly extensive network to Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare is a popular option.

Blue Cross Blue Shield: The verdict for small businesses

Blue Cross Blue Shield offer an impressive range of plans, and it’s likely small businesses will be able to find at least one that meets their needs. Their network is extensive, meaning a great amount of choice is possible – especially with the PPO plans.

In terms of price, Blue Cross Blue Shield tested at around the average when their various plans were compared to our other top small business healthcare companies.

However, the size and complexity of the organization can be confusing. At the same time, variations in local providers can mean real differences in the nature and quality of care available in different geographic areas.

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