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Health Insurance California: Blue Shield

When searching for health insurance, California has several plans you can choose from including Blue Shield. Blue Shield has been operating in California for over 60 years and has become one of the biggest carriers in the state. The company, which received an “Excellent” accreditation status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, has several reasonably priced plans for individuals and families.

CaliforniaHealthPlans.com has an application on its website to help you choose the best plan for you and your family. You can choose from several plans:

~ Shield Secure Plus: Shield Secure Plus is a PPO plan for individuals and families. This plan allows you to select your deductible and has excellent benefits even before you meet it.

~ Shield Secure: Shield Secure is also a PPO plan for individuals and families. The benefits are the same as the Shield Secure Plus plan, except the premiums are more affordable until you need to use the plan for coverage.

~ Shield Saver: Shield Saver plans are PPO and HSA compatible. These plans have low co-pay and other out of pocket costs if you need coverage for a major medical event. It also offers some of Blue Shield’s lowest monthly premiums and is great for an individual or family that doesn’t need to go to the doctor often.

~ Shield Wise: Shield Wise is another PPO plan which provides two physician office visits per year at a fixed co-payment before you meet the deductible. Once you meet the deductible, the plan offers frequent visits.

The PPO plans had 65,000 physicians and 350 hospitals to choose from as of early 2009.

You can also choose from HMO plans. Blue Shield’s HMO plans have 32,000 physicians in its network. You also have 300 hospitals from which to choose. If you need an individual Medicare plan, the Medicare HMO network has 135 hospitals and 13,100 physicians to choose from in California. In addition, Blue Shield counted over 5,000 pharmacies in its network as of early 2009.

Should You Choose a PPO Plan or an HMO Plan? This choice depends on your situation. If you do not often get sick, a health insurance California HMO plan that offers a co-pay and may not require a deductible might be the plan for you. You may also want to consider a plan such as the Anthem Blue Cross CoreGuard Plus Plan. This plan is for those who only need emergency and basic routine care, and not frequent medical care.

If you have a family and your children visit the doctor frequently, whether for yearly checkups, minor injuries from rough play outside, or an illness that requires a doctor’s care, you may want to consider a plan with a PPO plan that has a wider range of choices.

Before choosing a plan, review the options carefully, even if you think you know at first glance which plan is best for your situation. For example, you may think the Anthem Blue Cross CoreGuard Plan is best, but may find out that a different plan that is only a little more costly, yet still affordable, has better benefits.

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