Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Review

Fact Checked
Reviewed by: Kelly Blackwell, Certified Senior Advisor®
Updated: January 14, 2022

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield have good Medicare plans? See ratings and learn what Blue Cross Blue Shield covers.



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Kelly Blackwell
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Kelly Blackwell
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

Kelly Blackwell is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®. She has been a healthcare professional for over 30 years, with experience working as a bedside nurse and as a Clinical Manager. She has a passion for educating, assisting and advising seniors throughout the healthcare process.

Medicare rating: 3.8 stars A.M. Best financial strength rating: A-B++ BBB rating: A+ NCQA rating: 2.5 to 4.5 stars Consumer Affairs rating: 3.5 J.D. Power ranking: 6th and 9th out of 10

Quick Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Plans review: Blue Cross Blue Shield is a household name in health care with good reason for seniors to trust the company for their Medicare needs.

Blue Cross Blue Shield has been a pioneer in securing quality medical care for employees, creating the first health insurance plan for teachers in Dallas in 1929. Since then, it has grown to 36 regional companies, covering every state and Puerto Rico. The company is committed to offering diversity and meeting a wide variety of health-related needs. Still, its many health plans often cause confusion. Choice and flexibility are some of the reigning features of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Medicare plans, but it takes some patience to understand what this insurance giant has to offer.

Pros and Cons of Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Plans

What we like about Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare plans: The drawbacks of Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare plans:
  • Low premiums with optional coverage upgrades for Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Optional out-of-state coverage when traveling
  • Reputable company with a large provider network
  • Coverage and plans vary from state-to-state
  • Plan details can be confusing

What Do Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Plans Cover?

Also called Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage Plans combine Part A and B benefits with various extra services. Most Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage Plans include:

  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Vision
  • Dental
  • Hearing
  • Wellness benefits, such as free gym memberships
  • Medical transportation (some plans)
  • Wellness over-the-counter medications (some plans).

If you have certain chronic medical conditions, such as cancer or Alzheimer’s, you may qualify for a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan that serves a specific population group. With Medicare Advantage, you continue to pay your Original Medicare premiums. In many cases, there’s no additional cost.

The company’s Medigap plans work with your Original Medicare Parts A and B. You can use this supplemental insurance to help pay for copays and deductibles. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Part D, or prescription drug coverage, is another add-on plan for seniors with Original Medicare, specifically designed to help pay for prescription medication.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Plan Options

Blue Cross Blue Shield has three primary Medicare options: Medigap, Medicare Advantage Plans, and stand-alone prescription drug plans. Under the Medicare supplement umbrella are ten possible plans, each with unique coverages and availability differing by state.

The Medicare Advantage Plans are mostly HMOs and PPOs with similar coverage in both types. The main difference between the two is that PPO plans allow policyholders to visit out-of-network providers for additional fees while HMO plans do not. If you have a PPO plan, you can see specialists without referrals. A few states have unique Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage Plans, such as the private fee for services (PFFS) plan, which is only available in Arkansas.

The company’s prescription drug plans are state-specific, and most states have a basic and an enhanced plan type.

Check your state for your Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare 2022 plan options:

Plan name Monthly premium Annual deductible Office visits Annual maximum out-of-pocket cost
Medicare PPO Blue Saver RX (PPO) $ 0 Health: $ 0

Drug: $175

Primary: $ 0

Specialist: $ 0 – 45

$6,700 in network; $10,000 in and out of network
Medicare HMO Blue Saver RX (HMO) $ 0 Health: $ 0

Drug: $300

Primary: $ 0

Specialist: $ 0 – 45

$7,550 in network
MedexCore Supplement Plan** $113.58 $203 Part B

$1,484 Part A

Plan pays 20% after deductible is met $203 Part B deductible, $1,484 Part A deductible, skilled facility care costs after day 20
MedexSapphire Supplement Plan** $190.15 $203 Part B Plan pays 20% after deductible is met $203 Part B deductible, plus $10/day for skilled facility care after day 100
Blue MedicareRX Value Plus $51.70 $ 0 for tier one and two drugs

$480 all other drugs

n/a $7,050 plus 25% for drugs during gap coverage phase, plus $3.95 – $9.95 per drug during catastrophic coverage phase

*Based on pricing in Boston, MA
**Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans are standardized differently in Massachusetts. Rates shown are for 2021

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Plans Reviews and Ratings

Reviews for Blue Cross Blue Shield are mixed, primarily because each regional branch is a separate company. Ratings, customer service satisfaction, and reviews can vary greatly depending on your location.

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how Medicare, A.M. Best, the Better Business Bureau and more rate Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Medicare plans.

Medicare rating: 3.8 stars BCBS’s Medicare Advantage Plans have an overall quality rating of 3.8. Prescription drug plans have an overall rating of 3.7. Both are from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
A.M. Best financial strength rating: A+ – B++ A.M. Best is a credit rating agency specializing in the insurance industry. In July 2021, A.M. Best affirmed its Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior) to B++ (good) for some Blue Cross Firms. There is a range of ratings because BCBS is a collection of companies.

An A+ rating indicates stability to meet ongoing obligations An A rating translates to “excellent,” and a B++ rating to “good.”

BBB rating: A+ Blue Cross Blue Shield has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it’s not accredited. Fifty-nine customer complaints have been closed in the last three years and 12 have been closed in the last 12 months.
NCQA rating: 2.5 to 4.5 stars Only a few states have data reported by The National Committee for Quality Insurance (NCQA), which gives Blue Cross Blue Shield the highest score in the area of prevention. Ratings range from 2.5 to 4.5 with an average of 3.0.
Consumer Affairs rating: 3.5 A few states have ratings on Consumer Affairs. The highest is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida with 3.5 out of 5 stars based on 400 reviews. Many reviewers expressed appreciation for having Medicare coverage through a name that they know and trust.
J.D. Power ranking: 6th and 9th out of 10 In its 2021 Medicare Advantage Study, J.D. Power measured Medicare Advantage Plan satisfaction based on coverage and benefits, provider choice, cost, customer service, information and communication, and billing and payment. Anthem BCBS scored 797 and BCBS of Michigan scored 788 points out of 1,000, coming sixth and ninth out of the top 10 Medicare Advantage providers.

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