UnitedHealthcare Insurance Vs Blue Cross Blue Shield: Which Company is Best in 2021?

UnitedHealthcare Insurance Vs Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) consists of 36 independent health insurance companies in the United States. They provide health insurance to over 106 million people throughout the nation. BCBSA was formally founded as Blue Cross and Blue Shield in 1929 and 1929 respectively. Blue Cross became the Blue Cross Association in 1960 while Blue Shield Association was formed in 1948. Ultimately, the BCBSA was formed in 1982 by merging Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Its headquarter is situated in Michigan Plaza Chicago, Illinois.

UnitedHealthcare Group Incorporated is a Minnesota-based managed health care organization. It is the largest healthcare company in the world with a revenue of $242.2 billion in 2019. UnitedHealthcare revenues encompass 80% of the Group’s overall revenue.

UnitedHealthcare Insurance Vs Blue Cross Blue Shield

Here is a brief comparison between UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield:

Network Coverage

Blue Cross Blue Shield does not provide nationwide network coverage, it only runs in 41 states of the United States. It is an association of several independent health underwriters who pay a fee to use the BCBS trademark. This results in the difference in network coverage from one state to another. On the contrary, UnitedHealthcare works as a single independent company and markets plans through its subordinate companies. It is known for providing network coverage all over the country. Hence, UnitedHealthcare is a step ahead in this situation.

Types of Healthcare plans

Both UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield offer a wide range of healthcare plans. These include plans for individuals and families, employees of small and large scale businesses, medicare plans, and much more. The medicare plans are again of different categories, such as –

  • Original Medicare (Part A and B)
  • Medicare Advantage (Part C)
  • Dual Special Needs Plan (D-SNP)
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)

The availability of these plans depends on the area you reside in. For further information, you should contact the nearest healthcare provider.

Medicare Plans

Both Blue Cross Blue Shield and UnitedHealthcare provide a variety of Medicare insurance plans for their members. But not all plans are available in all regions.

Medicare Advantage Plan

The following Medical Advantage plans are offered by UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield –

UnitedHealthcare

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
  • Health Maintenance Organization Point-of-Sale (HMO POS)
  • Local and Regional Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
  • Private Fee for Service (PFFS)
  • Special Needs Plan (SNPs)

Blue Cross Blue Shield

  • 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

Some of these plans may or may not come with a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan. Let’s take a look at their sample plans –

UnitedHealthcare

  AARP Medicare Advantage SecureHorizons Premier (HMO) AARP Medicare Advantage Choice (PPO) Erickson Advantage Freedom (HMO-POS) Medicare Gold (Regional PPO-SNP)
Location Los Angeles, CA 90072 Columbus, OH 43230 Charlotte, NC 28266 Atlanta, GA 30312
Drug Coverage Yes Yes Yes Yes
Deductible $0 $0 $0 $0
Out-of-pocket maximum $1,000 In-network: $4,500 In-network: $4,200 $6,700
Primary care visit $0 $0 $10-20 $0
Network Must stay in-network Lower costs for in-network services Lower costs for in-network services Lower costs for in-network services
Plan# H0543-164 H8768-007 H5652-006 R2604-003

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Medicare Advantage (HMO) Blue Cross Medicare Advantage (HMO-POS) Blue Cross Medicare Advantage (PPO)
Lower or $0 monthly premiums $0 monthly premium Higher monthly premiums
Care provided by Primary Care Provider, i.e. in-network doctor Can see doctors outside the network in some cases Can use hospitals or doctors outside the network but with higher copays and coinsurance
Minimal cost while in the network No coinsurance but a predetermined copay rate to see doctors outside the network Money can be saved while staying within the network

Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

Both UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield offer three types of Prescription Drug Plans like others. These are:

UnitedHealthcare Blue Cross Blue Shield
  i.         AARP MedicareRx Walgreen (PDP)

ii.         AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus (PDP)

iii.         AARP MedicareRx Preferred (PDP)

        i.    Blue MedicareRx Value (PDP)

ii.    Blue Cross MedicareRx Basic (PDP)

iii.    MedicareBlue Rx Premier (PDP)

 

They also have options for preferred pharmacies:

UnitedHealthcare Blue Cross Blue Shield
·      Walgreens

·      OptumRx

·     Walmart

·     Albertsons

·     HEB

·     Walgreens

Financial Rating

The A.M. Best gives Financial Strength Rating to the different insurance companies. Both the UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield secured a financial strength rating of “A”. This means that both companies can serve their members without any sort of financial difficulties.

In conclusion, it can be said that both Blue Cross Blue Shield and UnitedHealthcare are neck-to-neck. They offer almost similar facilities for their customers. Depending on availability, you can choose your desired plans by contacting the nearest healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does UnitedHealth Short term health insurance work?

UnitedHealth Short term insurance provides a temporary solution for those who are –

  • in between jobs
  • waiting for coverage to begin
  • waiting for Medicare acceptance
  1. What is the Blue365 ® program?

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers the Blue365 ® program to its members which is a free health and wellness discount program. It offers discounts on gym memberships, fitness gear, healthy diets, and much more.

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  1. We always try to provide the most updated information. We are also happy to get your feedback. In future We will try to show more comparison among the insurance companies. Stay with us.