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Blue Cross Blue Shield Review

Thursday, May 30th

2024 Medicare Supplement Plan Reviews

Blue Cross Blue Shield Review 2.5 Star Rating

Blue Cross Blue Shield

2.5 Star Rating
  • Quoted prices around $185.98 - $263.14
  • Online quotes available
  • Only sells its own insurance
  • Detailed blogs and resources online
  • "A+" rating from the BBB in some states

Blue Cross Blue Shield, or BCBS, is a well-known insurance giant with a long history in the field. You may also recognize them as Anthem in certain states (like Wisconsin).

Dedicated Medicare Supplement site

What sets them apart is that BCBS offers a dedicated website specifically for Medicare Supplement Plans. This way you can effortlessly access details about the plans you care about without sifting through irrelevant health insurance details not related to your Medicare Supplement Plan search. While the company doesn't say how many states it serves, you can easily check if there is coverage for your state by entering your zip code on Blue Cross Blue Shield. If there are options, you will be redirected to a page where you can explore the coverage for your state.

Easy navigation and tons of details

Navigating the BCBS website showcases an impressive amount of information available. The Medigap coverage section is information-packed, covering terms, enrollment periods, and more. We particularly liked that BCBS offered "limitations" and "considerations" sections on the site to help you get a clear idea of what things to look out for, or areas where you may not receive coverage. To actually get to the part where you initiate a quote, head to the right side of the page where it prompts you to "Enter Zip Code and Find Coverage."

Best Medicare Supplement Plans

Call as soon as you can for details

Once you're redirected to the coverage page for your state, you'll be asked to provide information in a form or to call a representative directly at 855-536-6475. While you can find a few basic quotes on the site (like a summary of average fees and costs), you'll spend a lot of time clicking through different pages and looking for tiny links to get there. So, the fastest way to get a true and accurate quote is to call in ASAP, especially since when we requested a call for a quote, BCBS never called us back.

You can dig for details but calling is faster

A notable feature is BCBS allowing you to initiate your Medicare Supplement Plan application online, setting them apart from other providers requiring a phone call. Simply have your Medicare card and relevant documents like a Power of Attorney (POA) or guaranteed issue notice ready. However, for those, like us, seeking a quote for a designated profile - say, a 65-year-old woman in Wisconsin who has never smoked seeking Plan G coverage - it's faster just to call the representative. When we called we weren't even placed on a hold, which was impressive. However, the representative struggled to work with his program, which created a very lengthy quote process. This could be a one-time problem, but it was very frustrating.

Mid-tier pricing options

For our example customer (the 65-year-old Wisconsin woman), the premium quoted by BCBS was $185.98 with no riders, or $263.14 with all possible riders. This is much more expensive than at competing companies, which could make the long call and difficulties getting quotes not worth your time in the end.

Best Medicare Supplement Plans

Assists with customer concerns online

While we maintain that it's faster to talk to a rep at BCBS, the site has an impressive array of blogs and extra details to help you be more connected to the process. With blogs that answer questions like "What is a health insurance claim?" or "How does telehealth work?" BCBS shows that it is listening to the concerns of customers and responding with easily accessible information. With a quick search on the site (or even on Google) you can find extra information about BCBS' methods and policies without ever needing to pick up the phone.

Some concerning ratings from the BBB

Finding a Better Business Bureau (BBB) listing for BCBS can be tricky due to separate offices in each state. What we did gather shows that the BBB ratings for BCBS vary significantly. For instance, South Carolina enjoys an "A+" rating with seven customer complaints, whereas New York holds a "D-" , and the BBB score for Wisconsin is a concerning "F" rating. This divergence suggests that service quality and customer response may differ based on your location, and with some "F" ratings on the board, it might be smarter to pick a company that has higher ratings on average.

Mid-tier service overall but low ratings bring it down

Overall, BCBS stands as a reliable source for Medicare Supplement Plans, though if you're looking for the top-rated service, this might not be it. There's a good amount of pros like easy web navigation and tons of details on the website, as well as the ability to search for coverage without calling. However, with cons like "F" ratings in some states and a slow quote process, BCBS isn't one of the top options in our review.

Which Medicare Supplement Plan is the Best?

If you or a family member is approaching the age of 65, or if you are soon eligible for Medicare Parts A and B due to other qualifying reasons, now is the perfect time to start looking at additional coverage options for your Medicare. While Medicare insurance covers many of your medical expenses, it doesn't cover everything. To help pick up the extra slack, you can dive into a Medicare Supplement plan, often referred to as "Medigap" .

These plans work to address the gap between the 80% of medical concerns covered by Medicare and the remaining 20% that isn't covered. This way, you can reduce your out-of-pocket medical expenses and feel safer and more comfortable with your coverage.

The Best Medicare Supplement Plans Compare Medicare Supplement Plans Compare Medicare Supplement Plan Reviews What are the best Medicare Supplement Plans Best Medicare Supplement Plan Reviews

Medicare Supplement Plan FAQ

Medicare Supplement Insurance is additional coverage beyond traditional Medicare. Also known as "Medigap" , these plans cover some or all of the expenses that aren't covered by your basic Medicare benefits.
Original Medicare only covers 80% of most medical expenses. The remaining 20% can get extremely costly, especially if you have a long hospitalization or a condition that requires specialized treatment. Medicare supplemental plans can ease the financial burden, kicking in where Medicare stops and reducing your out-of-pocket costs.
That depends entirely on the plan you select. Will you choose a high-deductible plan with lower premiums, or is it worth it to you to pay more in premiums to pay nothing when you have a medical expense? It also is heavily influenced by your particular situation: where you live, if you're a smoker, male vs. female, your age, and so forth. For Plan G coverage (the most popular of the Medicare supplemental plans), expect monthly premiums in the $110 - $160 range.
It can be confusing at first, partly because they're all identified by letter names (for example Plan A, Plan B, and so on) - and they're often mistaken for the similarly-named components of Medicare itself (Part A, Part C, and more). Again, the main differences relate to the trade-off between deductible amounts and premiums: pay more upfront to spend less later, or vice-versa. Plan benefits are standardized, however, so whether you choose a Plan M with one insurer or another, your coverage is the same.
While your coverage is the same regardless of which provider you use, premiums vary. It's a good idea to speak with a few companies, or with a broker that can give you quotes from several insurers to compare. Also, each company offers a different package of "extras" to complement your Medigap coverage. Some services will keep an eye on your premiums and let you know if you're going to experience a significant increase - and they'll even recommend a new insurer if they find one that's better suited to your needs.
Unfortunately, yes. Just like any other form or insurance (such as auto, medical, homeowner's), your Medicare supplement insurance premiums may change. Insurers may lock in your rate for a year or two, but you should be prepared for an increase in the future. There are a few providers who have a strong track record for keeping increases infrequent and small.
That depends. While some states require Medigap plans to be available for disabled individuals under the age of 65 (the age that standard Medicare eligibility starts), there's no corresponding federal law. And, many states that permit Medigap coverage for the disabled also have restrictions that don't apply for the 65-and-up plans. You should speak to a Medicare Supplement Plan advisor to learn about the options in your state of residence.
Not only is it legitimate, it's an important component of many seniors' healthcare benefits and financial planning. Of course, you should be careful to choose a reputable provider and work with an agent or referral service that takes the time to understand your needs and explain all of the available options. There's a limited window of opportunity to sign up for a Medigap plan without having to submit medical reports, so it is recommended that you begin doing your research well before your 65th birthday.
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Continued from above...

The Medicare Supplement Plans are assigned letter names to differentiate them, which can sometimes lead to confusion. With an ever-evolving landscape of plans and their coverage, keeping up with changes like swapping Plan F (once a popular choice but was discontinued for new enrollees after January 1, 2020) with its successor, Plan G, (which offers similar benefits but introduced an annual deductible) can be extremely confusing. Paying attention to the changes in the market will help you make a more informed decision about your healthcare coverage and help you recognize what coverage you need and what you don't.

One thing to keep in mind as you plan for your Medicare journey is the "guaranteed issue period" . This is a period that spans the six months following your 65th birthday. During this period, you can get a Medicare Supplement Plan without any prerequisites beyond paying your premiums.

For example, this means that while health conditions won't disqualify you, being a smoker might result in higher premiums. However, once this six-month grace period concludes, insurers may request more detailed health information, such as your history of diabetes or heart conditions that may potentially impact your premiums and change what plans are available to you.

When it comes to purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan, you have two primary options: buying directly from an insurance company or getting your plan through the services of a broker. Going with an insurance company means you might be able to continue using a company you already trust, which may be appealing due to lower rates or trustworthy insurance adjusters. On the other hand, if you choose to go with a broker, the company gives you access to a range of insurance providers, so you can compare rates and plans side by side, including the rates offered by your preferred insurance company.

Regardless of whether you choose to work with a broker or purchase directly from an insurance company, the most important thing about choosing a Medicare Supplement Plan is that you need to do your research. While you can initially explore various providers' websites, keep in mind that Medicare rules dictate plans must be sold either in person or over the phone, so you should be prepared to talk with a representative to finalize your Medicare Supplement Plan.

If you're not sure where to start with your Medicare Supplement Plan, we've put together a few things that might help you narrow down your options:

  • Cost. When it comes to the cost of Medicare Supplement Plans, your health and your pre-existing conditions may change the costs depending on which company you choose. To manage costs effectively, you'll want to compare companies to find the most budget-friendly options. However, keep in mind rates can also change over time.
  • Coverage. There are tons of different plans and different names to choose from. As you look through Medicare Supplement Plans, make sure that you spend your time researching providers that offer coverage in your state. Given the time-consuming nature of this process, you may not want to have a phone call with a company that turns out not to have competitive plans or prices in your state.
  • Reputation. To get a smooth and stress-free experience, it is recommended to select a reputable company. Whether you go through an insurance company directly or a broker, checking reviews and the Better Business Bureau ratings can provide valuable insights into the company's track record so you can pick one that really cares about its clients.

To help you stress less about your Medicare plans, Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the best Medicare Supplement Plans available today. This way, you can save both time and money in your search. All you need to worry about is finding the best provider using our handy list and detailed reviews and getting back to enjoying your golden years stress-free!

Compare Medicare Supplement Plans

Select any 2 Medicare Supplement Plans to compare them head to head

  • United Medicare Advisors
  • Go Medigap (eHealth)
  • Medicare Plans
  • Aetna
  • SelectQuote Senior
  • Humana
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • GoHealth
  • HealthCare
United Medicare Advisors vs Go Medigap (eHealth) United Medicare Advisors vs Medicare Plans United Medicare Advisors vs Aetna United Medicare Advisors vs SelectQuote Senior United Medicare Advisors vs Humana United Medicare Advisors vs Blue Cross Blue Shield United Medicare Advisors vs Cigna United Medicare Advisors vs GoHealth United Medicare Advisors vs HealthCare Go Medigap (eHealth) vs Medicare Plans Go Medigap (eHealth) vs Aetna Go Medigap (eHealth) vs SelectQuote Senior Go Medigap (eHealth) vs Humana Go Medigap (eHealth) vs Blue Cross Blue Shield Go Medigap (eHealth) vs Cigna Go Medigap (eHealth) vs GoHealth Go Medigap (eHealth) vs HealthCare Medicare Plans vs Aetna Medicare Plans vs SelectQuote Senior Medicare Plans vs Humana Medicare Plans vs Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Plans vs Cigna Medicare Plans vs GoHealth Medicare Plans vs HealthCare Aetna vs SelectQuote Senior Aetna vs Humana Aetna vs Blue Cross Blue Shield Aetna vs Cigna Aetna vs GoHealth Aetna vs HealthCare SelectQuote Senior vs Humana SelectQuote Senior vs Blue Cross Blue Shield SelectQuote Senior vs Cigna SelectQuote Senior vs GoHealth SelectQuote Senior vs HealthCare Humana vs Blue Cross Blue Shield Humana vs Cigna Humana vs GoHealth Humana vs HealthCare Blue Cross Blue Shield vs Cigna Blue Cross Blue Shield vs GoHealth Blue Cross Blue Shield vs HealthCare Cigna vs GoHealth Cigna vs HealthCare GoHealth vs HealthCare
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