Choosing a health insurance plan can be a stressful and confusing process if you do not know what you are looking for. Insurance companies all have different benefits and drawbacks that may impact your decision. Below we give you to rundown on two of the nation’s largest insurance providers.
The Low Down On Aetna
1. Nation’s Leader
Aetna, Inc. is a health care company that was founded in 1853. It’s long established history is something that they are very proud of, and pride themselves on keeping true to their mission. As of 2014 they have over 50 millions members and made a profit of 58 billion dollars in the year alone.
2. Programs and Plans
Aetna offers a very wide variety of health care plans that can be easily suited to almost any situation. They offer individual and family plans as well as plans for employers to offer to their employees. They also offer varying levels of plans, each offering different benefits.
Aetna also boasts that it has the largest network of doctors, dentists, and hospitals in the insurance game. This can be a great thing because it gives you the freedom and some choice in choosing your health care professionals.
How Blue Cross Blue Shield Adds Up
1. Not Really Nationwide
Blue Cross Blue Shield is a unique corporation because it is made up of dozens of small, independent insurance companies across the country. These companies pay a fee in order to use the Blue Cross Blue Shield name and trademark.
Because BCBS is comprised of so many different individual companies, the care and selection in different areas will be completely different. This also impacts the coverage area and network of physicians that you are offered.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield were each founded separately. With Blue Cross covering hospitals and Blue Shield covering physicians. Blue Cross was founded in 1929 and Blue Shield in 1939. The two didn’t merge until 1982.
Differences Between Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield
A huge difference between Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield is the network size and range. Aetna greatly outdoes BCBS due to the fact that they are a fully national company, and their network of hospitals and doctors reflects this. While BCBS is regional, and made up of many smaller insurance companies which means you could likely be hit with unexpected “out of network” charges.
Medicare is a government assisted insurance program that Aetna doesn’t offer. Blue Cross Blue Shield does indeed offer many different plan options underneath medicare.