The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) consists of 39 individual companies and organizations throughout the United States. BCBSA plans can be purchased in every state, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. Collectively, they insure over 100-million people. Blue Cross Blue Shield is accepted by more hospitals and doctors than any other insurer and its products can be found in all segments of the health insurance industry.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Subsidiaries »
Anthem for-profit (Division of WellPoint)
- New Hampshire
Multi-State Private Companies
Single-State or Regional BCBS Companies
The Blue Cross brand originated in 1929 at Baylor University with a plan offering teachers three weeks of hospital care for $6 per year. As the company grew, it began offering coverage to other employee groups in Dallas and later expanded to national coverage. In the late thirties, its emblem was adopted by the American Hospital Association (AHA) for plans meeting certain requirements. By the sixties, the Blue Cross Association took the place of the AHA and in 1973 it severed the association completely.
The Blue Shield brand was developed at the start of last century with lumber and mining employers in the Pacific Northwest paying a monthly fee to a designated group of physicians. In 1939, the first true Blue Shield plan was unveiled in California. In the late forties, nine plans adopted the Blue Shield symbol and it was dubbed the Associated Medical Care Plan. It was later renamed the National Association of Blue Shield Plans. Blue Shield and the Blue Cross Association merged in 1982 to become the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Anthem formed as a spin-off of American General Insurance in the eighties. It went on to become a publicly-traded company in 2001 and three years later, it completed it finished merging with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Late that same year, it merged with and changed its name to WellPoint. While Anthem is no longer officially a company, WellPoint still uses the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield name in eleven states.
Insurance companies are franchised under the Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield name. These companies are independent and offer their own plans in different regions of the country under one or both brands. BCBSA offers some form of coverage in every state, Washington DC and Puerto Rico. In certain states they also act as Medicare administrators providing group coverage to state and federal employees.
WellPoint is a publicly-traded company with coverage spanning 14 states. Several other BCBSA multi-state organizations include the Mid-Atlantic region’s CareFirst and the Pacific Northwest’s The Regence Group. The largest privately owned BCBSA member is Health Care Service Corporation, which operates two plans in the Midwest (Illinois and Oklahoma) and two in the Southwest (Texas and New Mexico).
Worst customer service ever
Oh my goodness, I've never dealt with any business or entity with such horrible customer service! The left hand is not talking to the right hand. None of the $ I'd paid out of pocket went toward my deductible, because there were so many errors in the system. After making at least a dozen phone calls and being transferred a minimum of 3 times (and having to tell my story EVERY time)...I was put on hold with a man who was really going to fix the situation this time. I sat on hold for over an hour, and when he came back on to talk, we got disconnected. No call back. What? I went to the local office in my town and had to work my way thru a huddle of a half dozen people smoking outside the building, only to discover that the person I needed to speak with was out. She'd get back to me...still waiting....
Goodbye Blue Cross. You got one chance. Bring on another insurance company.
Anthem blue cross blue shield through access health care is an amazingly defunct company. five hours of phone contact, four different people to handle administrative and they still screwed it up-twice over.
The BCBS of Alabama customer service is awful-rarely helpful, requiring multiple calls to solve a problem and a computer system that is down more than it seems to be working.
Very depressed that this is what we get
Will Not Pay for Mental Health
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma sucks! This company cares nothing for their customers. They will not pay for anything mental health related. It seems as though they would rather people kill them selves or someone else than to enable them to get any help. Mental health issues are a real crisis in the USA. ' Crazy' is a real medical condition and should be covered under EVERY plan just like any other condition!
Won't Pay Claims!
I paid premiums for three years including an additional $150 per month on top of my already expensive plan for Maternity coverage... They now won\'t cover what they said they would pay for, and I continue to receive expensive medical bills for my pregnancy, after already paying my full $6,500 high annual deductible!!!! They are now forcing me to hire an attorney (luckily I documented and saved all of my info along the way). This company is horrible, and it\'s sickening that they try to get away with this!
Dropped With No Notice
I was so sure that my husband\'s insurance would cover my 1st mammogram, well that never happened until i called BCBS to find out if they do cover it. They said no and they gave no reason at all at why i was dropped from my husband\'s insurance and we got no letter from them giving us a reason why i was dropped. The mammogram is gonna cost me $256 out of pocket and i have no way to pay for this and medicare only pays about 10% of it and i have to take care of the rest myself.
Horrible Benefits, Horrible Company
Cost: If you never need to go to the doctor, are young and healthy like me, just get accident insurance from AFLAC and you\'ll be covered. AFLAC pays for every fall I have.
Coverage: When I got my plan, my agent told me I would be covered for pregnancy, but when I read over the plan more closely, after I had paid, it said I was not covered. The agent flat out lied to me.
Service: Every single time I have called to deal with a matter I have waited OVER AN HOUR to speak to someone, and when I finally get a hold of someone they have to transfer me because its the wrong line, but funny enough, I call the number that is stated on my card to call!
Applied, Paid, and Then Nothing Happened
I got my app in and made a payment. For two weeks they did not take the money or contat me at all. My account was compromised so I closed it and opened a new one. I call customer service and spent 1hr 12 min on hold. When I spoke to a rep, they didn\'t know what to do, so they promised to call me back next day. That didn\'t happen. After spending another hour on hold, I emailed them. Three days later there was still no response.
Will Not Pay For Preventative Screening
I had breast cancer 3 years ago. I have been cancer free since. BCBS will not pay for my yearly mammogram as a preventative screening because technically they are considered diagnostic for 10 years. My company\'s contract does cover preventative screening. They are the only major insurance company with this policy. I have a $2000 deductible which I usually do not meet so my mammograms are out of pocket. Way to go BCBS! You really know how to stick it to a cancer survivor. This company is a disgrace.
No Call Back
I called them about 6 times. They said they would call me back in 15 mins. Well, it has been 4 hours and there has been no call. I guess I\'ll find a different insurance company.