Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is one of many companies that provides Medicare supplemental insurance, helping you pay less for copays and deductibles in exchange for a relatively low monthly premium in addition to your Medicare premium.
Established in 1929, BCBS is one of the most well-known insurance providers in the United States. It’s a household name that includes 36 different independent health insurance companies throughout the country (e.g., Anthem, Highmark, Regence, etc.). Nearly 95 percent of healthcare providers, hospitals, and specialists accept BCBS insurance. And BCBS provides health insurance to over 106 million Americans, making it the largest insurance network in the nation.
Blue Cross Blue Shield offers all Medigap plans A through N. As you’re shopping for your Medicare supplement plan, you’ll find that some details vary by state, but that supplement plan policies are standard in the forms of Plans A through N. Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare supplement insurance plans A through G typically have higher premiums and less out-of-pocket expenses. Plans K through N are all pretty similar to each other, having lower premiums, but higher out-of-pocket costs. We know it can be confusing with all of these different options, each with their pros and cons. Medicare supplemental insurance is constantly evolving.
The most popular BCBS Medicare supplement plans are Plans F, G, and N. Plans F and G have higher premiums but offer lower out-of-pocket expenses. Plan F also has a higher deductible to keep your monthly premiums lower. This is a good choice for you if you have a significant amount of savings and can afford a higher deductible. Plan N offers lower monthly premium costs with moderate out-of-pocket expenses.
Here are a few key offerings from BCBS:
Flexibility to see any physician in the United States who accepts Medicare without a referral
Instant quotes online
Automatic annual re-enrollment in your plan (minimal annoying paperwork!)
Customer service available 24/7 via telephone, email, and letter mail
Some plans offer visual and dental coverage
Members get discounts on additional items such as Lasik surgery or gym memberships (depending on your plan and location)
Although there are many great offerings from Blue Cross Blue Shield, there are some cons to consider when looking at their plans. First, the copays for some services may not be covered depending on which plan you have. Pricing for their plans vary from state to state and some states do not offer certain plans. Lastly, since BCBS is a federation of 36 health insurance companies, each with its own resources and website, it can be more difficult to gauge member satisfaction in regards to things such as customer service and ease of enrollment.