Blue Cross is an umbrella organisation which includes 36 health insurance providers across all 50 states. It was founded in 1929 and became the Blue Cross Association in 1960. In 1982 Blue Cross merged with Blue Shield to create the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. This organisation is the oldest and most prominent in health insurance in America. Currently it is estimated around 1 in 3 Americans use a company registered under Blue Cross Blue Shield, this equates to more than 106 million people.
Blue Cross provides a range of insurance plans, the availability of which can depend on the individual state in which you reside. The most commonly available Blue Cross plans are outlined below:
BlueAccess is the most common and widest reaching insurance plan. Within BlueAccess there are 3 levels of cover: bronze, silver and gold. The levels and cover and the price of deductibles varies according to the level you select. Even with the bronze plan, there are many benefits, including visits to specialists, or emergency care at a varying cost after the deductible has been paid. Maternity care, chiropractic and physical therapy are also included. The costs to the patient depend whether they are treated at an ‘in network’ facility or one that is ‘out of network’. Eyewear is also covered for members under 19.
Bluesave is available to people under 30 and is the most popular plan of its type. It includes a range of great benefits, like lower monthly premiums if you are prepared to pay more when you use medical facilities, preventive care at no extra cost and even a discount on gym membership, in an effort to encourage more people to become active.
Blue Cross Dental
Blue Cross also recognize how important maintaining oral health is, and have their own dental plans available. These plans are divided into Value, Preferred and Freedom. Again these plans rise in cost as the level of coverage increases, with very little being covered under the Value plans but the most common dental treatments being covered by the Preferred and Freedom plans.