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Lunch » Tags » Insurance » Reviews » Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association » User review

I will try to be objective and not say flat out that Blue Shield sucks.

  • Feb 7, 2009
  • by
Rating:
-3
Disclaimers:
  • I've just acquired insurance with them and have yet to actually visit a doctor, so I cannot comment on claims processing, finding a doctor, or the countless other aspects of health insurance.
  • This is my first time getting independent health insurance outside of a job or a family plan.
I bought Blue Shield based almost entirely on price. I'm a fairly healthy 24-year-old with no previous medical conditions besides the occasional allergy, so I figured I'd just get the stop-gap insurance for $50 a month that would cover me if I got leukemia or I accidentally cut off a limb. $50 per month was way under the next lowest provider's quote, so Blue Shield gets a thumbs up for that.

What they don't get a thumbs up for is service. Literally days after my service was activated and setup to Autopay with a credit card, my card company called and told me the number was suspected of being stolen and they had to get me a new card and number. Oops. So I called Blue Shield to change over to the new number.

I was directed to their website, where I could download a form, print it out, fill it out and fax it back to them. I thought that was interesting because I could've sworn we were in the 21st century, but I guess not. About two weeks later, I get two pieces of mail from them on the same day. One has a copy of my faxed form and a letter stating that I would need to send my first payment by check, and that I could setup autopay if I liked by calling the customer service number. The other letter said the same thing in different words.

To spare the rest of the details, that was two weeks, two phone calls, four e-mails and two more letters ago, and this still isn't resolved.  Instead, I just keep getting threatening e-mails and phone calls saying my service will be canceled and void if I don't pay, despite my sending a check a week ago.

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April 19, 2010
Good point, DesignDude. I've only ever had insurance from 3 different companies. The first was Kaiser which I had all throughout growing up. I didn't pay much attention because moms and pops were footing the bill, but it seems like that one had the least amount of hassle and was the most straightforward. However, having now compared pricing, it's also pretty much the most expensive. My last one, UnitedHealthcare was pretty convoluted and confusing, and I ended up paying for half of my physical out of pocket for some reason, even though it was supposed to covered (not sure what happened - I just remember calling a customer service rep and getting some jive about office visits covered but not medical tests). I guess the moral of this story is: if you have money, go for Kaiser. I was a fan.
 
February 07, 2009
GREAT review! The title made me laugh, as did the reference about being in the 21st century! I'll have to keep this in mind, I think I'll be getting independent health insurance very soon ...
 
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About the reviewer
Mark J. Lehman ()
Ranked #354
Member Since: Jan 2, 2009
Last Login: Sep 14, 2010 10:59 PM UTC
About this topic

Wiki

Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield insurance companies are franchisees, independent of the association (and traditionally each other), offering insurance plans within defined regions under one or both of the association's brands. Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers offer some form of health insurance coverage in every US state. They also act as administrators of Medicare in many states or regions of the U.S., and regularly can be found providing group coverage to state government employees, as well as the U.S. Federal government under a nationwide option of the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP) established by the association on their behalf. Thus a strong bond exists between the Blue Cross Blue Shield system and health insurance policy-making bodies at the highest levels of government in the United States.

Though historically "Blue Cross" was used for hospital coverage while "Blue Shield" was used for medical coverage, today that split only exists for traditional health insurance plans in eastern Pennsylvania, where Independence Blue Cross (Philadelphia) and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania each have joint marketing agreements with Highmark Blue Shield (Pittsburgh) for their separate hospital and medical plans. However, Independence Blue Cross, like most of its sister Blue Cross-Blue Shield companies, cover most of their customers under managed care plans such as HMOs and PPOs which provide hospital and medical care in one policy. In most of the ...

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