Blue Cross BlueShield of Illinois
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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois - Plan Descriptions

BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois is the largest health insurance company in the state with over 6.5 million members. They offer health plans that can be customized for individuals, children, and families that include consumer-directed plans, Health Savings Accounts, short-term plans, Medicare Supplements, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. The different plans are described below.

NEW: As of January 1, 2013 BCBSIL now offers a Medicare Advantage Plan with zero premium to Medicare eligible individuals.

SelectBlue PPO Plan

Our Rating:

SelectBlue provides the most extensive benefits of any individual health insurance plan offered by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois. It features a high level of benefits usually found only in employer-sponsored group health plans. SelectBlue plan highlights include:

SelectBlue Deductibles
  • $0 single / $0 family
  • $250 single / $750 family
  • $500 single / $1500 family
  • $1,000 single / $3,000 family
  • $2,500 single / $7,500 family
  • $5,000 single / $15,000 family

Select Blue is the only individual plan with a $0 deductible option offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

SelectBlue Advantage

Our Rating:

SelectBlue Advantage is a slightly watered-down version of SelectBlue. It provides identical benefits to SelectBlue with 3 DIFFERENCES:

SelectBlue Adv. Deductibles
  • $250 single / $750 family
  • $500 single / $1500 family
  • $1,000 single / $3,000 family
  • $1,750 single / $5,250 family
  • $2,500 single / $7,500 family
  • $5,000 single / $15,000 family

Members still have access to Illinois's largest physician and hospital network and drug card benefits with the $250 or $500 deductible plans. Select Blue Advantage costs about 15% - 20% less than Select Blue and considered a better overall value. View this comparison table to compare Select Blue and Select Blue Advantage benefits side-by-side.


BlueValue

Our Rating:

BlueValue provides the same kind of comprehensive coverage provided by SelectBlue, but without the office vist and prescription drug copayments and wellness benefits.

Key BlueValue® plan features include:

BlueValue does NOT include:

BlueValue Deductibles
  • $250 single / $750 family
  • $500 single / $1500 family
  • $1,000 single / $3,000 family
  • $2,500 single / $7,500 family
  • $5,000 single / $15,000 family

BlueValue Advantage

Our Rating:

BlueValue Advantage has all the benefits of the BlueValue plan with additional cost-sharing features that bring the costs down about 10% more than BlueValue. There are only 2 major differences than the BlueValue plan:

BlueValue Adv. Deductibles
  • $250 single / $750 family
  • $500 single / $1500 family
  • $1,000 single / $3,000 family
  • $1,750 single / $5,250 family
  • $2,500 single / $7,500 family
  • $5,000 single / $15,000 family


BlueChoice Select

Our Rating:

BlueChoice Select offer benefits similar to SelectBlue Advantage, but is coupled with the BlueChoice network, a smaller version of the "standard" Blue Cross Blue Sheild of Illinois PPO network. If you can accept some reduced hospital and physician choice, BlueChoice Select may be a great option for you. It offers:

BlueChoice Select Deductibles
  • $250 single / $750 family
  • $500 single / $1500 family
  • $1,000 single / $3,000 family
  • $1,750 single / $5,250 family
  • $2,500 single / $7,500 family
  • $5,000 single / $15,000 family

Use the Provider Finder to search for physicians and hospitals in the BlueChoice network.

BlueChoice Value

Our Rating:

BlueChoice Value is a smart choice for reliable health insurance coverage at rates to fit your budget. BlueChoice Value is a great combination of benefits and price.

BlueChoice Value Deductibles
  • $250 single / $750 family
  • $500 single / $1500 family
  • $1,000 single / $3,000 family
  • $1,750 single / $5,250 family
  • $2,500 single / $7,500 family
  • $5,000 single / $15,000 family

BlueChoice Value gives you major medical coverage at a reduced premium cost by utilizing the money-saving BlueChoice Network and eliminating office visit and prescription co-payments. With the exception of well-child care, all claims are subject to the deductible and coinsurance.


BlueEdge HSA

Our Rating:

Health Savings Account (HSA)-qualified plans are a smart way for you to better manage your health care dollars. With a high deductible plan, you save on the cost of insurance by sharing more of the smaller expenses such as physician office visits. BlueEdge HSA offers substantially lower premiums, along with the opportunity to put tax-deductible money in a special account which can be used to pay your deductible and other medical expenses. For 2013, the maximum HSA contribution amount is $3,250 for individuals and $6,450 for families.

BlueEdge HSA Deductibles
  • $1,250 single / $2,500 family
  • $1,750 single / $3,500 family
  • $2,600 single / $5,200 family
  • $3,500 single / $7,000 family
  • $5,000 single / $10,000 family

BlueEdge HSA plans utilize Blue Cross BlueShield of Illinois' largest PPO network. After you have met your deductible, the plan pays either 80% or 100% of all covered expenses depending on which coinsurance you choose. With the 80% plans, coverage becomes 100% once you have reached an out of pocket limit of $5,000 for singles or $10,000 for families.

This plan qualifies as HSA-eligible. Combining a Health Savings Account with any Blue Edge HSA plan allows you to make tax-deductible contributions, pay medical expenses with pre-tax dollars, and earn tax-deferred interest. This account works much like an IRA, except you may use your tax-free savings for qualified medical expenses your health plan does not cover, such as your deductible, contact lenses, dental costs, or most types of alternative medicine (see the qualified medical expenses). If you do not use these funds, they simply accumulate with interest, for distribution upon your retirement. BCBS of IL has partnered with Mellon Bank and can initiate the process of opening an HSA with them, but they charge a start-up fee and monthly administration fees. We recommend asking your current bank if they offer health savings account without monthly administration fees. If your bank charges maintenance or administration charges, we can refer you to several banks with a large Illinois presence that offer no-fee health savings accounts.

BasicBlue

As of 2010, BCBSIL no longer offers the Basic Blue Plan

Our Rating:

BasicBlue provides basic coverage at the lowest price. It provides coverage for hospitalization, surgery, testing and emergency medical services, but does not cover outpatient doctor office visits and prescriptions. BasicBlue is a good choice for those seeking the lowest cost, but needing coverage for health services most likely to involve catastrophic expenses.

SelectTemp PPO (short-term medical)

Our Rating:

SelectTEMP PPO is an affordable short-term individual health plan that provides basic protection against unexpected accident or illness. Individuals who are temporarily without health insurance because COBRA is too expensive, are in-between jobs, or waiting for employer coverage to begin find SelectTEMP PPO to be an affordable alternative.

SelectTEMP PPO offers various benefit periods and deductibles to allows you the control to tailor coverage, premium rates and out-of-pocket expenses according to your own needs. You are able to choose:

SelectTemp PPO Deductibles
  • $500 single / $1,000 family
  • $1,000 single / $2,000 family
  • $1,500 single / $3,000 family
  • $2,000 single / $4,000 family
  • $5,000 single / $10,000 family