Aetna Health Insurance Vs Blue Cross Blue Shield: Which is Best in 2021?

From this article, we will show you the main theme between the Aetna Health Insurance Vs Blue Cross Blue Shield. KEEP READING…

Aetna Inc. is a managed health care company headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut. It was founded by Eliphalet Adams Bulkeley in 1853. The major products of this company are traditional and consumer-directed health care insurance. Other services include medical, dental, pharmaceutical, behavioral health, long-term care, and disability plans.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) comprise of 36 independent American health insurance companies. BCBSA was formally founded as Blue Cross and Blue Shield in 1929 and 1939 respectively. Blue Cross became the Blue Cross Association in 1960 while Blue Shield Association came to form in 1948. Finally, Blue Cross and Blue Shield merged together giving rise to the BCBSA in 1982.

Aetna Health Insurance Vs Blue Cross Blue Shield

Let’s take a closer look at what these two companies have to offer to the customers:

Provider Networks and Plans

Both Aetna Health Insurance and Blue Cross Blue Shield give you access to a wide range of provider networks and plans. However, none of them gives you full coverage throughout the nation. With its 1.2 million healthcare professionals, Aetna provides its Medicare Advantage plans in 45 states and DC and Medigap plans in 49 states. Meanwhile, Blue Cross Blue Shield only functions in 41 states. It is a group of several independent health companies that use BCBS’s trademark. Hence, network coverage differs from one state to another.

Health Plans

There are a variety of healthcare plans to choose from Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield. These plans are directed for individuals and families, small and large-scale business employers, and medicare plans. Besides these, there are some other plans that Aetna offers, but BCBS does not. Aetna Health Insurance offers separate healthcare plans for dental and vision, students, and even for those who stay in their home country.

Medicare Plans

Both Aetna Health Insurance and Blue Cross Blue Shield offer a wide range of Medicare plans. These include:

  • Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)
  • Medicare Supplement or Medigap Plan
  • Prescription Drug Plan (Part D)

Now, let’s see the variation in their Medicare plans –

Medicare Advantage Plan

Aetna and BCBS offer the following Medicare Advantage Plans:

Aetna Health Insurance Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO)
  • Preferred Provider Organisation (PPO)
  • Health Maintenance Organisation – Special Needs Plan (HMO-SNP)
  • Health Maintenance Organisation – Point-of-Sale (HMO-POS)
  •  Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
  •  Health Maintenance Organization Point-of-Sale (HMO POS)
  •  Local and Regional Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
  •  Private Fee for Service (PFFS)
  • Medical Savings Account (MSA)
  • Special Needs Plan (SNPs)
  • Medicare Cost

Therefore, Blue Cross Blue Shield offers more plans than Aetna Health Insurance. But not all plans are available in all the regions. Aetna and BCBS Medicare Advantage do not function in the following states:

Aetna Health Insurance

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Vermont

Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming
  • Washington, DC

Medicare Supplement Plans

Aetna Health Insurance Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Plan A
  • Plan B
  • Plan F
  • Plan G
  • Plan N
  • Plan A
  • Plan F
  • Plan G
  • Plan K
  • Plan L
  • Plan N
  • HD-F

In the case of Medicare Supplement plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield is a step ahead of Aetna with two extra plans. There is a High Deductible plan F within these plans that Aetna does not offer.

Prescription Drug Plans

Both Aetna and BCBS cover the partial costs of your prescribed medicines with the Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). They offer the following plans:



  • Aetna Medicare Rx® Select (PDP)
  • Aetna Medicare Rx® Saver (PDP)
  • Aetna Medicare Rx® Value Plus (PDP)
  • Blue Cross MedicareRx Basic (PDP)
  • Blue Cross MedicareRx Value (PDP)
  • Blue Cross MedicareRx Plus (PDP)


Both Aetna Health Insurance and Blue Cross Blue Shield offer a wide range of plans for their customers. Each plan has its individual benefits. If you want to enroll yourself in any of the plans, it is advisable that you contact the nearest insurance provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of health plans does Aetna offer?

Aetna offers the following health plans for its customers –

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Student health insurance
  • International insurance
  • Affordable Care Act plans
  • Short-term plans

What are the preferred pharmacies of Blue Cross Blue Shield?

Like any other health insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield also has some preferred pharmacies. These are:

  • Walmart
  • Albertsons
  • HEB
  • Walgreens

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